This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry has rejected any new negotiations or changes to the participants in Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh was quoted by Iranian state media on January 30 as saying the nuclear deal “is nonnegotiable and parties to it are clear and unchangeable.”
The comment comes a day after after French President Emmanuel Macron said any new talks should include Saudi Arabia.
Macron told a media briefing that a very short time remained to prevent Iran from having a nuclear weapon and said any new talks on the nuclear deal with Iran would be very “strict,” according to a report on Al Arabiya television on January 29.
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have said that Gulf Arab states should be involved. They also say the talks should also address Iran’s ballistic missile program and its support for proxies around the Middle East.
Iran began breaching the deal’s limits on uranium enrichment activity after Washington withdrew from the pact in 2018 and reimposed sanctions as part of a “maximum pressure” campaign aimed at forcing Tehran to negotiate a new agreement.
Iran, which says its nuclear program is strictly for civilian purposes, has vowed to produce 120 kilograms of 20-percent enriched uranium per year, or 12 kilograms per month on average.
U.S. President Joe Biden’s new administration named veteran diplomat Rob Malley on January 29 as the U.S. special envoy for Iran. Malley was a top national-security aide to former President Barack Obama and a key member of the team that negotiated the nuclear deal.
Malley brings “a track record of success negotiating constraints on Iran’s nuclear program,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said.