U.S. Should Do More to Ease Iran Tensions, Russia’s Lavrov Says
(Bloomberg) -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called on the Biden administration to be “more active” in resolving disputes with Iran by removing sanctions that were “unlawfully” applied.
The U.S. has criticized the new Iranian government for taking its time in returning to nuclear talks, but Lavrov said the U.S. -- which withdrew from the agreement under former U.S. President Donald Trump -- shouldn’t be complaining about Iranian delays.
“The government in Iran has just formed and they are saying that they need at least a couple of weeks and hopefully not more to put together the negotiating team,” he told reporters Saturday on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.
The U.S. and Western powers have warned Iran that time is running out to revive the 2015 nuclear accord known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, saying Iran’s progress in enriching nuclear material is eroding the gains that a return to the agreement would enshrine.
Returning Iran and the U.S. to the terms of the deal has been a key topic of discussion by world leaders on the General Assembly’s sidelines in New York this week.
Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian told reporters Friday that Iran will return to talks “very soon.” He called on President Joe Biden to ease damaging U.S. sanctions.
In a 90-minute press conference with reporters in New York, Lavrov also said recognizing the Taliban as Afghanistan’s new government isn’t on the table for now. He urged the group to first show it is serious about fighting terrorism within its borders.
Lavrov also expressed optimism about contact between North Korea and South Korea, saying the Biden administration seems more open to the dialogue than the Trump administration was.
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