Iran’s atomic energy agency said on Monday it could reverse its nuclear programme to its status before curbs were imposed under a landmark 2015 agreement with world powers. Tensions in the Gulf have soared since last year, when the United States pulled out of the 2015 deal and reimposed sanctions on Iran, hammering its economy and prompting Tehran to break limits on uranium enrichment and stockpiling.
“If the Europeans and the Americans don’t want to carry out their duties... we will decrease our commitments and... reverse the conditions to four years ago,” agency spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi said, quoted by IRNA state news agency.
“These actions are not out of obstinacy. It is to give diplomacy a chance so that the other side come to their senses and carry out their duties,” he added.
On Monday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Tehran is ready to talk to the United States if sanctions imposed are lifted. "We have always believed in talks ... if they lift sanctions, end the imposed economic pressure and return to the deal, we are ready to hold talks with America today, right now and anywhere," Rouhani said.
Reacting to this, Pompeo said, “President Trump will obviously make the final decision. But this is a path that the previous administration had gone down and it led to the (Iran nuclear deal) which this administration, President Trump and I both believe was a disaster.”
Earlier, Donal Trump had imposed "hard-hitting" sanctions on Iran. Trump's move to impose fresh set of sanctions on Iran comes days after Tehran said it shot down an American drone in the region on Thursday. However, Trump denies the drone, valued at more than USD 100 million, violated Iranian airspace, saying he backed away from planned strikes after learning that 150 people would be killed in the military action.
Tensions have been escalating between the United States and Iran since Trump last year withdrew the US from a global nuclear deal with Iran and re-imposed economic sanctions on Iran.