Raab and counterparts urge Iran's 'full compliance' with nuclear deal

Marco Green
February 19, 2021

The United States is prepared to talk to Iran about both countries returning to compliance with a 2015 deal that aims to stop Teheran from developing a nuclear weapon, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told European allies on Thursday (Feb 18).

The Additional Protocol permits IAEA inspectors to visit undeclared sites in Iran at short notice, but on 15 February, Iran's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it would cancel this commitment if there was no progress by the end of this month in Tehran's dispute with the U.S. over the re-imposition of economic sanctions by the previous administration under Donald Trump.

Blinken reiterated the USA position that President Joe Biden's administration would return to the accord formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) if Iran came into full compliance with the deal.

After talks in Paris, which Blinken joined by video link, they affirmed their shared objective of Iran's return to full compliance to commitments of the deal, known as the JCPOA.

Iranian officials, however, say that Washington - as the party that left the JCPOA - must make the first move.

The new United States administration under President Joe Biden has said it wants to return to the JCPoA if Iran first recommits to its own obligations.

But the joint statement said that, if Iran comes back into "compliance" with its commitments under the deal, the United States would do the same and would be prepared to engage in further discussions with the country.

A French diplomatic source said Washington's shift marked an opening for Iran but the path ahead was fraught with obstacles. In turn, Iran has been loosening its commitment to the pact by enriching uranium beyond the restrictions set by the pact.

Earlier this week, the United States urged Iran to reverse the decision to limit inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Washington has urged Tehran to reconsider its decision. "Remove the cause if you fear the effect", he continued. Specifically, Tehran says it will halt snap nuclear inspections outside of its declared sites as of 23 February.

"Regarding Iran, the E3 and the United States expressed their shared fundamental security interest in upholding the nuclear non-proliferation regime and ensuring that Iran can never develop a nuclear weapon", the diplomats said.

London, Paris and Berlin welcomed Biden's intention to return to diplomacy with Iran.

After reviving the JCPOA, the countries pledged to coordinate to strengthen the deal and address Iran's ballistic missile programme and regional activity.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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