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Iran rejects U.S., EU calls for talks over nuclear deal

"The Biden administration has not set aside Trump's maximum pressure policy," an Iranian official said.

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January 2018 photo of Tehran, Iran
Tehran, Iran
Getty Images/ATTA KENARE
Updated: March 1, 2021 - 5:31pm

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Iran has rejected an offer to talk directly with the Biden administration about the U.S. reentering the international nuclear deal that President Donald Trump left three years ago.

The European Union had proposed an informal meeting between the U.S., Iran and the EU.

"Considering the recent actions and statements by the United States and three European powers, Iran does not consider this the time to hold an informal meeting with these countries," Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said Sunday.

Khatibzadeh argued the new administration has acted no differently than the previous one when it came to dealing with Iran.

"The Biden administration has not set aside Trump's maximum pressure policy, nor has it announced its commitments," he said.

Iran's rejection comes only days after U.S. military airstrikes against Iran-backed militias in Syria.

The White House expressed disappointment about the talks being scuttled.

"While we are disappointed at Iran's response, we remain ready to reengage in meaningful diplomacy to achieve a mutual return to compliance with the JCPOA commitments," a senior administration official told NBC News.

The Obama administration brokered the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to ease sanctions on Iran in exchange for the country dismantling some of its nuclear programs, curbing its ability to make weapons of mass destruction.

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