Iran has ruled out holding an informal meeting with the US and European powers on ways to revive a nuclear deal, insisting that America must lift all of its unilateral sanctions first.
Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman said it was not an appropriate time for the talks proposed by the European Union.
The US said it was disappointed but that it remained ready to “re-engage in meaningful diplomacy” on the issue.
Tensions have soared since the US left a nuclear deal with Iran in 2018.
Then-President Donald Trump re-imposed crippling economic sanctions to force Iran to renegotiate the 2015 accord, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Iran refused and retaliated by rolling back a number of key commitments.
The US has now expressed intent to rejoin the deal under President Joe Biden. But Washington insists Tehran must return to full compliance with the agreement first, while Iran says that will only happen once sanctions are lifted.