A high-ranking White House official says the United States has “begun to communicate” with Iran over US citizens detained in the country. He also indicates Washington is ready to talk directly with Tehran over the nuclear issue.
National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan made the remarks in an interview with CBS News on Sunday.
Sullivan said, “We have begun to communicate with the Iranians” on the detention issue, and “we will continue to do so as we go forward.”
On Iran’s nuclear program, Sullivan said US President Joe Biden “is prepared to go to the table to talk to the Iranians” as “he believes that hardheaded, clear-eyed diplomacy is the best way.”
Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh told state-run television on Sunday in response that Tehran has received messages from the new US administration via the Swiss Embassy in Tehran. The embassy represents US interests in Iran.
But Khatibzadeh said the two countries have had no direct contact.
It remains unclear whether Tehran will agree to direct talks with Washington. Iran has insisted that the US lift all sanctions against the country before discussing a possible return to the Iranian nuclear agreement.