Amir-Abdollahian

Iran’s Foreign Minister says his government will return to nuclear talks very soon after it finishes a review of previous negotiations.

Iran PressAmerica: "Iran remains ready to return to nuclear talks very soon but the Biden administration has sent a negative sign by failing to lift economic sanctions and imposing new sanctions against Tehran," Iran's new Foreign Minister, told NBC News.

Hossein Amir-Abdollahian told NBC News's Andrea Mitchell that President Joe Biden needed to back up his talk of diplomacy with concrete actions to show Iran that Washington is serious about restoring a 2015 nuclear deal.

"They say that they are ready to return to the fulfillment of their commitments. However, there is no action taken in order to show and prove the true will to the new Iranian administration, to the Iranian nation. And worse than that, simultaneously, they have managed to put on new sanctions," Amir-Abdollahian said.

Amir-Abdollahian said it was up to the United States to demonstrate it was serious about returning to the accord after former President Donald Trump withdrew the US from the deal three years ago.

"In other words, President Biden was and is criticizing the behavior of his predecessor, Mr. Trump vis-à-vis Iran, but at the same time, the volume of the file of sanctions that Mr. Trump built against Iran is being carried carefully by Mr. Biden," he said.

"If the United States was serious about pursuing negotiations, then why was it piling up actions," the foreign minister asked.

"This is a negative signal to Iran," he said.

The Foreign Minister said: "the reality of the matter is that for years, we have not obtained any benefits from the JCPOA. But the new Iranian government is now evaluating the talks undertaken by the previous Iranian administration."

Amir-Abdollahian said: "We are assessing and I can tell you that we have had many meetings and we will keep the window of diplomacy and negotiations open. And we will very soon return to the negotiations."

Amir-Abdollahian said Iran had held constructive talks this week with German and British officials on the nuclear issue and planned to meet with French officials on Friday.

Asked about Americans imprisoned in Iran, he said Iran was open to an exchange of American and Iranian prisoners held in each country.

"We see a prisoner swap and its potential as a purely humanitarian issue," he said.

Iranian Foreign Minister, addressing a series of assassinations of nuclear scientists and other suspected acts of sabotage that Tehran has blamed on Israel, said Iran was prepared to retaliate as needed to any attack on its national security.

"If we obtain reliable proof beyond dispute, we will respond in kind, swiftly, and without any equivocation," he said.

Commenting on the killing of top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani in a US drone strike in January 2020, he said Iran did not consider the case closed.

He said: "From our viewpoint, the file will not be closed. Those who were the perpetrators and carried out that act of terrorism against a national hero and the champion of Iran in the fight against terrorism must be brought to justice."

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