Biden: US will not lift Iran sanctions to get them back to the table

US President Joe Biden said the United States will not lift sanctions on Iran to get them back to the negotiating table and that they need to stop enriching uranium first, according to an interview he gave with CBS News.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Sunday that Tehran’s “final and irreversible” decision was to return to compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal only if Washington lifts sanctions on the Islamic Republic, Iranian state TV reported.

Asked whether he would halt sanctions to convince Iran to return to the bargaining table, Biden offered a clear reply in a CBS interview aired Sunday: “No.”

The journalist then asked if the Iranians would first have to stop enriching uranium, which drew an affirmative nod from Biden.

The deal between Iran and six major powers limited Iran’s uranium enrichment activity to make it harder for Tehran to develop nuclear arms – an ambition Iran has long denied having – in return for the easing of US and other sanctions.

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