Iran has rejected President Joe Biden’s reported compromise proposal for a partial nuclear deal before he has even offered it.
Biden administration officials, mindful of the increasingly unfavorable calendar, plan to put forth a new proposal to jump-start the talks as soon as this week, two people familiar with the situation told POLITICO.
The proposal asks Iran to halt some of its nuclear activities, such as work on advanced centrifuges and the enrichment of uranium to 20 percent purity, in exchange for some relief from U.S. economic sanctions, said one of the people, who stressed that the details are still being worked out.
Earlier this year, the U.S. suggested that it would give Iran access to a small amount of its billions of dollars in frozen assets in exchange for Iran stopping its 20 percent enrichment of uranium, one of the people confirmed.
Tehran balked at what it saw as an unequal offer. In response, it suggested that it would halt uranium enrichment for a month in exchange for the U.S. lifting all its sanctions. The American side saw that as more of a cheeky rejoinder than a serious counter-proposal, the person said.
However, the Jerusalem Post reported Tuesday, Iran has already ruled out Biden’s proposal:
Iran said that it will not stop its 20% uranium enrichment before the US lifts all sanctions, Iranian state TV quoted an unnamed official as saying in reaction to the US media report that Washington would offer a new proposal to jump-start talks.
President Biden has taken several steps — often at the expense of U.S. allies — aimed at enticing Iran to rejoin negotiation, all to no avail thus far.