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Iran and the United States exchanged strong words on Tuesday after the Biden administration imposed fresh sanctions on Iranian entities and officials, with Tehran warning Washington that the measures would not ‘create leverage’ in the ongoing nuclear deal talks.
The US Treasury Department blacklisted the Special Units of Iran’s Law Enforcement Forces and Counter-Terror Special Forces and several officials linked to the agencies, accusing them of human rights abuses.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh rebuked Washington for announcing the sanctions while the two countries are engaging in indirect talks to revive a multilateral 2015 nuclear deal.
‘Washington fails to understand that ‘maximum failure’ & a diplomatic breakthrough are mutually exclusive,’ he wrote on Twitter. ‘Doubling down on sanctions won’t create leverage—and is anything but seriousness & goodwill.’
Even amid #ViennaTalks, US cannot stop imposing sanctions against Iran.
Washington fails to understand that ‘maximum failure’ & a diplomatic breakthrough are mutually exclusive.
Doubling down on sanctions won’t create leverage—and is anything but seriousness & goodwill.
— Saeed Khatibzadeh | سعید خطیبزاده (@SKhatibzadeh) December 7, 2021
Khatibzadeh’s statement appeared to be a reflection of previous remarks by American officials who have cautioned Iran that escalating its nuclear programme would not benefit it in the negotiations.
The seventh round of indirect talks between the US and Iran in Vienna concluded on Friday with Washington accusing Tehran of not being serious about reviving the agreement, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Iranian officials say they submitted two proposals that would secure a return to the deal, which saw Iran scale back its nuclear programme in exchange for a lifting of international sanctions against its economy.
AFRICA DAILY NEWS, NEW YORK