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Iran must stop enriching uranium before the US will lift sanctions and negotiate a new nuclear deal with the Islamic nation, President Biden said in an interview to be broadcast Sunday.
Biden was asked by “CBS News Evening News” anchor Norah O’Donnell if he would ease economic sanctions to get Iran back to the bargaining table.
“No,” he said in a clip posted on Twitter.
The ultimatum was revealed just hours after Iran’s supreme leader demanded that America end former President Donald Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign against the country.
“If (the U.S.) wants Iran to return to its commitments, it must lift all sanctions in practice, then we will do verification…then we will return to our commitments,” state TV quoted Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as saying.
Khamenei also called his stance the “definitive and irreversible policy of the Islamic Republic, and all of the country’s officials are unanimous on this, and no one will deviate from it.”
Iran has begun enriching uranium to weapons-grade levels and has otherwise violated the 2015 international nuclear deal from which Trump withdrew the US in 2018.
Iran — which claims its nuclear program is peaceful — has also threatened further provocations in a bid to force Biden back to the bargaining table.
In another clip from the CBS interview, which is set to air at 4 p.m., Biden vowed to change course on US relations with China.
“I’m not going to do it the way Trump did,” Biden said.
“We’re going to focus on international rules of the road.”
Biden didn’t elaborate in the 1-minute clip, but said he has “a whole lot to talk about” with Chinese President Xi Jinping, with whom he said he spent a total of about 25 hours in private meetings as vice president.
“I’ve said to him along, that we need not have a conflict but there’s going to be an extreme competition.”
In 2017, Trump hosted Xi at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida and described their relationship as friendly, but later engaged in a trade war with Beijing and pledged to keep up the pressure during his failed bid for a second term.
The full interview with Biden is set to air at 4 p.m.
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