Iran dismisses US offer of talks, says Washington broke last deal

US Director of Policy Planning Brian Hook speaks to the media about Iran in the press briefing room at the Department of State

The top USA official for Iran affairs, Brian Hook, said on Wednesday that the United States wanted open negotiations on a treaty with Iran to replace the 2015 nuclear pact which President Donald Trump pulled out of in May.

United States special representative on Iran Brian Guk said that the country's leadership remains open to negotiations with the Iranian authorities for a new agreement on its nuclear program.

But Hook said Iranian leaders have not been interested in talking despite statements by President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo this year that the administration was willing to meet.

Opponents of the nuclear agreement have argued that Obama's failure to seek ratification of the deal allowed Trump to unilaterally scrap the deal in May.

Iran views the U.S. as acting in bad faith by withdrawing from a deal and has longed blamed Washington for stoking instability in the Middle East.

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif smiles as he attends a bilateral meeting with China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi on the sidelines of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Singapore, August 3, 2018.

The timing of the comments, just a week ahead of the UN General Assembly, may suggest the United States is trying to get negotiations going on the sideline of the meeting. "That's their position, we respect that".

The US re-imposed sweeping sanctions against Iran last month, and a new round of even harsher sanctions is set to go into effect November 5 targeting Iran's vital oil sector.

We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World. European and Asian countries have been trying to salvage the nuclear deal despite new US sanctions against Tehran.

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