Joe Biden
Joe Biden REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Senior Iranian security official Ali Shamkhani on Saturday accused US President Joe Biden of “illegally threatening” Iran after Biden told Prime Minister Naftali Bennett during their meeting that he may consider other options if nuclear diplomacy with Tehran fails.

“The first meeting between Bennett and Biden and the emphasis on using ‘Other Options’ against Iran, while being an illegal threat to another country, establishes the Islamic Republic of Iran's right to reciprocal response to ‘Available Options,’” tweeted Shamkhani, Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council.

Meanwhile, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei accused Biden of making the same demands as his predecessor Donald Trump in talks to revive a nuclear deal.

"America's current administration is no different from the previous one, because what it demands from Iran on the nuclear issue is different in words, but the same thing that Trump demanded," Khamenei said, according to the AFP news agency.

"The Americans truly have no shame on the nuclear issue, and even though they withdrew from the JCPOA... they now talk in a way and make demands as it was (Iran) that withdrew," he added, referring to the deal by its official name, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

Iran has gradually scaled back its compliance with the 2015 deal in response to Trump’s withdrawal from the agreement in May of 2018, but has been holding indirect talks with the US on a return to the deal.

While the Islamic Republic has been holding indirect talks with the Biden administration on a return to the agreement, it recently paused the talks and announced they will not resume before the new Iranian government takes office.

US officials recently said that if diplomacy fails, the US will consider using other means to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, though they not specify what exactly the administration would consider.

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