U.S. Accuses Iran of Nuclear Extortion but Remains Open to Talks

U.S. Ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Jackie Wolcott waits for the start of a board of governors meeting at the IAEA headquarters in Vienna, Austria July 10, 2019. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner

VIENNA, July 10 (Reuters) – The United States said on Wednesday Iran‘s breaches of its nuclear deal are an attempt at extortion, warning Tehran that it is isolating itself while at the same time repeating that Washington is open to talks.

“There is no credible reason for Iran to expand its nuclear programme, and there is no way to read this as anything other than a crude and transparent attempt to extort payments from the international community,” the U.S. statement to an emergency International Atomic Energy Agency board meeting said.

“We call on Iran to reverse its recent nuclear steps and cease any plans for further advancements in the future. The United States has made clear that we are open to negotiation without preconditions, and that we are offering Iran the possibility of a full normalisation of relations.”

(Reporting by Francois Murphy)