Iran, World Powers Discuss US Return to Nuclear Deal | News from the European Union

The EU-led virtual meeting will attempt to engage Iran and the US to resume compliance with the JCPOA nuclear deal.

The European Union announced that officials from other parties to the 2015 nuclear deal would meet virtually on Friday to discuss a possible return of the United States to the historic deal, a move hailed by Washington as “a positive step. “.

New US President Joe Biden has sought to engage Iran in talks on resuming respect for the agreement by both sides, under which US and other economic sanctions against Tehran were lifted in exchange for restrictions on the deal. Iranian nuclear program.

“Participants will discuss the prospect of a possible return of the United States to the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) and how to ensure the full and effective implementation of the agreement by all parties,” said the EU said in a statement on Thursday. to the agreement by its official name.

Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the agreement in 2018, a historic pact signed in Vienna three years earlier by Iran, China, Russia, France, Germany, the Kingdom United and the United States. Trump also reimposed punitive US sanctions, prompting Iran, after waiting more than a year, to violate some of the pact’s nuclear restrictions in retaliation.

The punitive measures crippled life in Iran, preventing the government from importing food, medicine and COVID-19 vaccines.

Biden has vowed to join the deal – reached when he was vice president of former President Barack Obama’s administration – on condition that Iran first revert to honoring commitments he abandoned in retaliation to Trump’s decision.

However, on Wednesday Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the words of the Biden administration had not translated into action and that his country had seen “no serious effort” from the United States.

Rouhani said reinstating the deal would be very easy and did not require any negotiation, despite what the United States claims [Official Presidential website/Handout/Reuters]

Earlier this week, several reports said the Biden administration had come up with a new proposal, including sanctions relief on Iran in return for stopping 20% ​​uranium enrichment, to revive the negotiations.

The proposal was reportedly quickly rejected, with an unnamed senior Iranian official telling Press TV that Iran would not cut uranium enrichment in exchange for a partial lifting of sanctions.

US State Department spokesman Ned Price said the United States welcomed Friday’s meeting as “a positive step.”

“We have been clear for weeks now that we are ready to pursue a return to honoring our JCPOA commitments in agreement with Iran also doing the same,” Price said, adding that Washington was prepared to achieve it “by a series of mutual first steps. ”.

Ongoing discussions

Meanwhile, two diplomatic sources said the UK, France and Germany had already held talks with Iran on Monday and one said there had been talks on an Iranian proposal. The sources spoke on condition of anonymity, Reuters news agency reported.

Separately, the spokeswoman for the French Foreign Ministry told reporters during a daily briefing that European powers were working closely with the JCPOA co-signatories, Russia and China, to find a solution to the problem. stalemate and had discussed with Tehran and Washington.

“These exchanges are more than necessary because Iran has not agreed to take part in direct contacts between the other participants of the JCPOA and the United States … which would have facilitated the discussions,” said spokeswoman Agnes. von der Muhll.

Without giving further details, she said they are now looking for alternative formats to allow discussions.

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