Iran and the major powers in the deal to prevent Tehran from developing nuclear weapons said on Friday they were ready to welcome the return of the United States to the deal.
The chair of the group that includes the European Union, China, France, Germany, Russia, Britain and Iran said participants “recognized the prospect of a full return of the United States to the JCPOA, and underscored their willingness to address this positively. in a joint effort ”, referring to the acronym of the agreement – the Joint Comprehensive Action Plan.
They said they “emphasized their commitment to preserve the JCPOA and discussed the modalities to ensure the return to its full and effective implementation,” according to a statement after their virtual meeting.
The group said it would resume talks next week in Vienna on the 2015 agreement, “to clearly identify the lifting of sanctions and nuclear implementation measures.”
The statement also said that the group’s coordinator “will also intensify separate contacts in Vienna” with all participants in the nuclear deal and the United States.
In Tehran, state television quoted Abbas Araghchi, Iran’s nuclear negotiator in the virtual meeting on Friday, as saying at the meeting that “any return of the United States to the nuclear deal does not require any negotiation and the path is quite clear.”
“The United States can go back to the agreement and stop breaking the law in the same way that it withdrew from the agreement and imposed illegal sanctions on Iran,” Araghchi was quoted as saying.
Russia’s ambassador to international organizations in Vienna, Mikhail Ulyanov, said that “the impression is that we are on the right track, but the way forward will not be easy and will require intense efforts. Stakeholders seem to be ready for that.”
Washington unilaterally pulled out of the deal in 2018 under President Donald Trump, but successor Joe Biden has indicated that the United States would be willing to rejoin.
But there are complications. Iran has been constantly violating the deal’s restrictions, such as the amount of enriched uranium it can store and the purity to which it can enrich it. Tehran’s measures have been calculated to pressure the other nations in the deal – Russia, China, France, Germany and Britain – to do more to offset the crippling sanctions that were re-imposed under Trump.
Iran has said that before resuming compliance with the agreement, the United States must return to its own obligations under the agreement and withdraw the sanctions.
The International Atomic Energy Agency has said that over the past two years, Iran has accumulated a large amount of nuclear material and new capabilities, and has used the time to “hone its skills in these areas.”
The ultimate goal of the deal is to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear bomb, something it insists it does not want to do. Iran now has enough enriched uranium to make a bomb, but it is nowhere near the amount it had before the signing of the nuclear deal.
As part of its continuing violations of the JCPOA, Iran last month began restricting IAEA inspections of its nuclear facilities. However, under a last minute agreement drawn up during a trip to Tehran, some of the access was retained.
Under that temporary agreement, Iran will no longer share surveillance footage of its nuclear facilities with the IAEA, but has promised to keep the tapes for three months. It will then hand them over to the Vienna-based UN atomic watchdog if it is granted sanctions relief. Otherwise, Iran has vowed to erase the tapes, narrowing the window for a diplomatic breakthrough.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism