Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif
© UPI/Maryam Rahmanian
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif
Iran will accept enhanced inspections of its nuclear program in return for the lifting of U.S. sanctions, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said.

"It's not about photo ops," he told reporters Thursday at the Iranian mission to the United Nations in New York. "We are interested in substance. There are other substantial moves that can be made."

The offer comes amid heightened tensions between the two countries and on the day the United States said it shot down a Tehran drone in the Strait of Hormuz.

The United States has been tightening sanctions on Iran since last May when President Donald Trump pulled out of the 2015 landmark multination nuclear accord aimed at preventing Iran from gaining a nuclear weapon.

In early July, Iran announced that it had surpassed a uranium stockpile limitset out by that accord and on Thursday the United States slapped sanctionson seven companies and five individuals accused of helping Tehran procure sensitive material for nuclear centrifuges.

The offer is expected to be rejected by the Trump administration as Secretary Mike Pompeo has said that sanctions will only be lifted "once Iran gives up its nuclear ambitions."

Zarif said if the Trump administration puts "their money where their mouth is" they would agree to the deal.