Iran set the tone for how it was going to handle negotiations with a Biden administration while he was still on the campaign trail. The tone? That Iran will not negotiate and plans only to make demands. It is no surprise that they are following through. Former President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the 2015 nuclear deal in May of 2018, saying “the Iran deal is defective at its core.”
The Associated Press reports that on Tuesday, Iran stated it was “seeking the release of all Iranian prisoners held in the U.S. amid talks in Vienna meant to bring Tehran and Washington back into the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.”
In addition to a prisoner release, “Tehran has been insisting that the U.S. lift all sanctions imposed under then-President Donald Trump after he pulled America out of the nuclear deal, including those not related to its nuclear program” reports the AP.
Last week, Reuters reported “Iran has rejected direct talks” with the U.S., resulting in a U.S. delegation “in a separate location in Vienna, enabling representatives of the five powers to shuttle between both sides.”
A prisoner swap accompanied the 2015 nuclear deal which included clemency for seven Iranians held in the United States, as well as the removal of 10 Iranians from Interpol watch lists. Morton Klein, National President of the Zionist Organization of America states “it would be dangerous and absurd for the US to release Iranian prisoners, thus allowing them to return to their nefarious anti-American, pro-terror activities.”
Earlier this month, Iran announced that it would enrich uranium at 60% purity, three times higher than before. The U.N. watchdog agency confirmed Iran’s announcement. In a statement, the International Atomic Energy Agency said they had “verified that Iran had begun the production of UF6 enriched up to 60%” at their above-ground Natanz Pilot Fuel Enrichment Plant. Nonetheless, Iran continues to refuse direct talks and make demands such as the release of Iranian Nationals.