TEHRAN, Iran — President Joe Biden is pursuing the same policy against Iran as his predecessor, the country’s foreign minister said Sunday, two days before Tehran has threatened to restrict U.N. inspections of its nuclear facilities.
In an interview with the English-language news agency Press TV, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said former President Donald Trump’s policy of “maximum pressure” was still being applied to Iran.
“The United States is addicted to sanctions, but they should know that Iran will not yield to pressure,” Zarif said. “We are not seeking nuclear weapons.”
He reiterated Tehran’s stance that Washington should take the first step to reviving the 2015 nuclear agreement with world powers, which offered relief from sanctions on Iran in exchange for its agreeing to curb its nuclear program.
Trump withdrew the U.S. from the deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, in May 2018 and reimposed harsh sanctions in a bid to isolate Iran and drastically slash its oil exports.
In response, Iran began violating some of the deal’s nuclear limits, and in December, lawmakers in the country approved a bill that would suspend part of U.N. inspections of its nuclear facilities if signatories do not provide relief from sanctions by Feb. 23, which is Tuesday.
Iran will also block an additional protocol that allows U.N. inspectors to carry out more intrusive inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities.