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Iran’s Leader Blasts Biden as ‘Predatory Wolf’ No Different Than Trump Amid Stalled Nuclear Talks

© Vahid SalemiA woman walks past a satirical drawing of the Statue of Liberty after new anti-U.S. murals on the walls of former U.S. embassy unveiled in a ceremony in Tehran, Iran, Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019.
A woman walks past a satirical drawing of the Statue of Liberty after new anti-U.S. murals on the walls of former U.S. embassy unveiled in a ceremony in Tehran, Iran, Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 29.08.2021
On the campaign trail in 2020 and in his first months in office, Joe Biden promised to return the US to the 2018 Iran nuclear deal and slash sanctions against Tehran in exchange for a commitment by Iran to reduce its uranium stockpiling and enrichment activities. The two sides have held indirect talks on the issue, but these stalled in late June.
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has slammed President Biden over his administration’s intransigence on negotiations relating to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) Iran nuclear deal, accusing the current White House of being “no different” from the Trump administration, under which Iran-US relations collapsed to a historic post-1979 low.
“The current US administration is no different from the previous one. They demand the same things that [Donald] Trump demanded. Behind the scenes of US foreign policy there lies a predatory wolf that sometimes turns into a cunning fox,” Khamenei said, speaking to members of the new administration on Saturday, his comments posted on his official website.
Accusing the United States of acting “extremely shamelessly” on the nuclear issue, Khamenei said that Washington “withdrew from the JCPOA but talked as if Iran had withdrawn from it,” and “ridiculed the negotiations.”
“The Europeans acted like the US too,” Khamenei added, referring to the Western European JCPOA signatories’ alleged efforts to “sabotage” the agreement.
Presidential candidate Ebrahim Raisi speaks during a campaign rally in Tehran, Iran June 15, 2021. Majid Asgaripour/WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS  - Sputnik International, 1920, 27.08.2021
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President Ebrahim Raisi assured Khamenei that his government would support nuclear negotiations meant to “guarantee national interests,” but stressed that Tehran would not engage in talks merely for the sake of talks, particularly amid the Biden administration’s demand that Iran’s conventional ballistic missile programme, and its regional foreign policy, also be included in the text of the JCPOA.
After unilaterally withdrawing from the nuclear agreement in 2018, President Trump repeatedly hinted to Iran that he would be ready to negotiate a “better deal” which took account of Iran’s missiles and its regional policy. Iran has rejected any attempts by the US or other Western countries to limit its missile programme, stressing that its missiles were its main deterrent against aggression. Iranian officials have also dismissed attempts to include Iranian policy in the Middle East into the JCPOA, pointing to its role in combatting terrorism and supporting nations like Syria against Israeli aggression.
Iran, the US and other JCPOA signatories are expected to resume nuclear talks, with the sixth round of negotiations ending 20 June without any firm agreement, although Washington agreed in principle that it would lift over 1,000 sanctions slapped on Tehran by the Trump administration.
U.S. President Joe Biden and Israel's Prime Minister Naftali Bennett chat during a meeting in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S. August 27, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 28.08.2021
Tehran Blasts Biden, Bennett for ‘Illegally Threatening’ Iran
The prospects for hammering out an agreement on the nuclear issue under Iran’s new government hit a new potential snag on Friday after President Joe Biden told Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett in talks that the US would be “ready to turn to other options” if diplomacy aimed at preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon were to fail.
Bennett expressed his satisfaction over Biden’s “clear words that Iran will never be able to acquire a nuclear weapon,” and praised his comments about the potential “other options” if the “diplomatic route…doesn’t work out.”
Tehran blasted Biden over his “illegal threat,” and warned that Iran had a right to respond in a “reciprocal” manner.
Iran, the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain, Germany and the European Union reached the landmark Iran nuclear agreement in 2015, with the deal committing the US to lifting tough banking and energy sanctions against Tehran in exchange for limits on Iran’s peaceful nuclear programme. Washington pulled out of the agreement in 2018 and reinstated the sanctions. Iranian leaders gave the JCPOA’s remaining signatories one year to find a way to get around the restrictions, and once the deadline passed, began to increase its uranium enrichment and stockpiling activities beyond the limits outlined in the agreement. Iran’s negotiating position in Vienna has been that it is prepared to return to the JCPOA limits on uranium enrichment and stockpiling, but only if the US scraps its illegal sanctions first.
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