Iran rejects U.S. talks, pushes Biden to lift sanctions

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 6:57 AM PT – Monday, April 5, 2021

As U.S. officials head to Vienna to engage in talks with Iran, it appears one topic is already off limits.

In a statement Sunday, Deputy Iranian Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi said there will be no direct or indirect talks with the U.S. on the country’s nuclear program throughout the week. The Iranian diplomat reiterated Joe Biden has to lift all sanctions on Iran and pay compensation before any talks could begin.

“We are negotiating with the Joint Commission, meaning the 4+1 countries, we will relay to them our demand and condition for returning to the nuclear deal,” Araghchi stated. “Our demand is that America must first resume complying with its entire commitments.”

Last Friday, both countries agreed to send delegates to Vienna to discuss possible solutions to mutual tensions with U.S. officials saying they believed the focus of the discussion would be the JCPOA and Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

This combined photo released by the Iranian Foreign Ministry, shows Iranian diplomats attending a virtual talk on nuclear deal with representatives of world powers, in Tehran, Iran, Friday, April 2, 2021. The chair of the group including the European Union, China, France, Germany, Russia, Britain and Iran said that the participants "emphasized their commitment to preserve the JCPOA and discussed modalities to ensure the return to its full and effective implementation," according to a statement after their virtual meeting, referring to the acronym for the accord — the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Abbas Araghchi, center, heads the Iranian diplomats. (Iranian Foreign Ministry via AP)

This combined photo released by the Iranian Foreign Ministry, shows Iranian diplomats attending a virtual talk on nuclear deal with representatives of world powers, in Tehran, Iran, Friday, April 2, 2021. (Iranian Foreign Ministry via AP)

“This is just the first step…its going to be a difficult path because of how much time has gone by and how much mutual distrust there is, but our goal is to discuss indirectly with our European and other partners who will discuss with Iran to see whether we could define those steps that both sides are gonna have to take,” explained Robert Malley, U.S. Special Envoy for Iran. “If were serious about coming back into compliance with the deal.”

However, Iran’s pull-back appears to demand a full U.S. capitulation and has reignited claims of the nation meddled in the 2020 election to get Democrats in office so that Trump-era sanctions, which have crippled their economy, could be lifted.

The talks are scheduled to begin Tuesday.

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Original Article

Sen. Roy Blunt: GOP Would Support $615B in Actual Infrastructure

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Sen. Roy Blunt: GOP Would Support $615B in Actual Infrastructure Sen. Roy Blunt: GOP Would Support $615B in Actual Infrastructure Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) asks questions during a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs & Senate Rules and Administration joint hearing to discuss the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol on March 3, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Greg Nash-Pool/Getty)

By Eric Mack | Sunday, 04 April 2021 03:36 PM

The Biden administration is making a "big mistake" in loading up a $2.25 trillion infrastructure package with things that do not pertain to roads, bridges, airports, or technology, says Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., who rebuked the legislation as a "purely partisan exercise."

"I think there's an easy win here for the White House if they would take that win, which is make this an infrastructure package, which is about 30% – even if you stretch the definition of infrastructure some – it's about 30% of the $2.25 trillion we are talking about spending," Blunt said during an appearance on "Fox News Sunday."

Blunt noted about 30% of the proposal would be roughly $615 billion for roads, bridges, airports, transportation, services, and even things Democrats could loosely call infrastructure.

Instead, Blunt lamented, Democrats are pushing a massive spending package that includes a lot more non-infrastructure spending much like they did with the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill, the American Rescue Plan.

Democrats are "trying to take 70 percent of this bill and call it infrastructure in a new way than we've ever talked about infrastructure before," Blunt said. "That means you're looking at another partisan package just like we had with COVID."

Democrats are clever about sneaking spending measures under the umbrellas of popular spending bills like COVID-19.

"Obviously, Democrats have figured out that infrastructure is something we need and something that's popular," Blunt said, pointing to public-private partnerships in paying for infrastructure programs and perhaps user-fee related taxes like gas tax or road fares.

"Whatever it would be, it would be a true bipartisan discussion as opposed to asking every Republican in the Senate who was there in 2017 to change their mind on a tax package that frankly, that had a lot to do with 3.5% unemployment rate we had a year ago when COVID started," Blunt said. "I think people have always accepted the user-tax concept of the transportation system."

As for the Democrats seeking to tax corporations at a 28% rate instead of the Trump tax reform rate of 21%, Blunt suggested that the tax cut paid for itself with economic growth, corporate repatriation, and greater American growth domestic product.

Taking the U.S. back to 28% would make it the second-highest tax rate in the world, he said.

"Other countries saw the success we were having and many reduced their corporate tax rate to try to keep their jobs at home," he concluded.

Original Article