French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian warned, on Friday, Iran against participating in the next round of talks to revive the 2015 nuclear deal with a “sham” negotiating position, a day after Paris called on the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Board of Governors to send a strong message to Tehran.
Paris has warned Tehran of what US and European diplomats see as “unrealistic demands”, which include a call for the lifting of all sanctions imposed by the European Union and the United States since 2017.
Le Drian said – in an interview with the French newspaper “Le Monde” – that Paris first wants to ascertain whether the talks will be resumed from the point where they stopped last June.
“If these discussions are sham, we will have to consider the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action empty of its content,” he added, referring to the nuclear deal with Iran.
“The United States is ready to return to the negotiations from the point where they left off in June, so that they can be concluded quickly. We will assess the situation from November 29 and in the following days, to see if this is Iran’s desire,” he added. Moreover”.
On Thursday, France said that a strong message should be sent to Iran about its nuclear activities and lack of cooperation.
Diplomats said it was unlikely that Western powers would take tough measures, such as urging the International Atomic Energy Agency’s board of governors to pass a resolution critical of Iran, for fear of negatively affecting the November 29 talks.
And Iran had responded to France – earlier today, Friday – by saying that the IAEA should be free from any political behavior.
And Tehran called – on Friday – not to politicize the IAEA. “Iran always stresses – as a responsible member of the International Atomic Energy Agency – that the reputation of the IAEA as a technical and specialized body of the United Nations must be free from any political behavior,” a statement by the Iranian Foreign Ministry said on Twitter.
This exchange of statements highlights the escalation of tension before the resumption of indirect negotiations between the United States, Iran and world powers on reviving the agreement on November 29, and 5 days after the meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors.
Western diplomats say time is running out for efforts to revive the agreement that former US President Donald Trump withdrew from in 2018, angering Iran and the rest of the world’s powers in the agreement, namely Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia.
Discussions and agreements
Six rounds of indirect talks were held between last April and June. But the negotiations stopped after the election of the current Iranian President, Ebrahim Raisi, who said that Iran would not back down from its position in the talks.
In 2015, Iran concluded an agreement with 6 international powers regarding its nuclear program that allowed the lifting of many of the sanctions that were imposed on it, in exchange for limiting its nuclear activities and ensuring the peacefulness of its program, with an inspection program from the IAEA considered one of the most stringent in the world.
However, the effects of the agreement have been canceled since 2018, when the United States unilaterally withdrew from it during the era of former President Donald Trump, and re-imposed severe sanctions on Iran.
In response, in 2019 Iran gradually began to roll back many of its core commitments under the agreement. While Western countries accuse Iran of “violating” the agreement through this retreat, Tehran asserts that its steps are “compensatory” after the US withdrawal.