Biden says U.S. won’t lift sanctions until Iran halts uranium enrichment

President Biden mentioned the U.S. won’t carry sanctions in opposition to Iran except the nation stops enriching uranium, persevering with a standoff with the nation’s supreme chief, who has demanded that sanctions be lifted earlier than the nation returns to its obligations beneath the 2015 nuclear deal.

“CBS Night Information” anchor and managing editor Norah O’Donnell spoke to Mr. Biden in his first community information interview since his inauguration. It’s going to air within the 4 p.m. hour forward of the Tremendous Bowl on Sunday.

“Will the U.S. carry sanctions first to be able to get Iran again to the negotiating desk?” O’Donnell requested.

“No,” Mr. Biden responded.

“They need to cease enriching uranium first?” O’Donnell requested.

Mr. Biden nodded affirmatively.

Beneath the 2015 Iran nuclear settlement, the U.S. and different world powers agreed to carry crippling financial sanctions in opposition to Iran in alternate for limits on the nation’s nuclear program. Former President Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out of the deal in 2018 and reimposed these sanctions. Mr. Biden has mentioned he plans to rejoin the settlement.

In early January, Iran introduced it had resumed superior uranium enrichment, in violation of the phrases of the 2015 deal. A worldwide nuclear watchdog additionally instructed the United Nations final month that Iran has begun to fabricate tools used to provide uranium steel, the group mentioned, which can be utilized to make the core of a nuclear warhead.

Supreme Chief Ayatollah Ali Khamenei mentioned Sunday that the U.S. should carry sanctions earlier than Iran meets its commitments beneath the nuclear accords. In November, Iran’s international minister mentioned the nation would “mechanically” return to its commitments if Mr. Biden lifts sanctions imposed by Mr. Trump.

At his affirmation listening to final month, Secretary of State Antony Blinken mentioned that if Iran took step one and got here again into compliance with the phrases of the deal as at present written, “we’d, too.”

“However we’d use that as a platform to hunt an extended and stronger settlement, but additionally to seize these different points, notably with missiles and different destabilizing exercise,” Blinken instructed senators, including that “we’re a great distance from there.”

O’Donnell additionally requested Mr. Biden about one other key international relationship: the U.S. and China.

“The U.S.-China relationship might be one of the vital vital in your entire world,” O’Donnell mentioned. “Why have not you referred to as Xi Jinping?”

“Effectively, we’ve not had event to speak to him but,” Mr. Biden responded. “There is no cause to not name him. I most likely spent extra time with Xi Jinping, I am instructed, than any world chief has, as a result of I had 24, 25 hours of personal conferences with him after I was vp. Traveled 17,000 miles with him. I do know him fairly effectively.”

“There’s rather a lot to speak about?” O’Donnell requested.

“Lots to speak about. A complete lot to speak about,” Mr. Biden mentioned. “And he is very vibrant. He is very robust. He would not have — and I do not imply it as a criticism, simply the truth — he would not have a democratic, small D, bone in his physique. However he’s — the query is, I’ve mentioned to him all alongside, that we have to not have a battle. However there’s going to be excessive competitors. And I am not going to do it the way in which that he is aware of. And that is as a result of he is sending alerts as effectively. I am not going to do it the way in which Trump did. We will give attention to worldwide guidelines of the street.”

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