ROME – Tehran’s recent efforts to advance its nuclear program and hamper the work of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) observers risk a complete failure of Iran’s nuclear deal, leaders of the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and France warned on Saturday. .
The agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Action Plan (JCPOA), remained largely in fragments after it was abandoned in May 2018 by then-US President Donald Trump. When the U.S. withdrew and reintroduced sanctions, Iran withdrew from its commitments.
US President Joe Biden has expressed a willingness to return to the agreement, but negotiations have stalled, especially after the June election of new Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi.
The statement by the four Western powers that are parties to the JCPOA came after a meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Rome between Biden, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron.
Leaders cited in a statement Iran’s recent efforts to speed up its nuclear program and efforts to block the work of inspectors. “We agreed that Iran’s continued nuclear progress and obstacles to the IAEA’s work would jeopardize the possibility of a return to the JCPOA,” they said.
Leaders said they met “to discuss the risks posed to international security by Iran’s growing nuclear program.”
“We have expressed our determination to ensure that Iran never develops or acquires nuclear weapons, and we share our serious and growing concern that Iran has stopped negotiations on a return to a joint comprehensive action plan since June, but has accelerated the pace of provocative nuclear weapons. steps such as the production of highly enriched uranium and enriched uranium metal. ”
“Iran has no credible civilian need for any action,” they added, “but both are important for nuclear weapons programs.”
Iran has repeatedly claimed that the US’s withdrawal from the agreement and Washington’s refusal to fulfill its commitments led to the outcome of the agreement. He also insisted he had no plans to develop nuclear weapons.
In their statement, the four Western leaders stressed Biden’s readiness to rejoin the agreement.
“The current situation underscores the importance of a negotiated solution that envisions the return of Iran and the United States to full compliance with the JCPOA and provides a basis for further diplomatic cooperation in resolving the remaining disputed points – both ours and Iran’s,” he said. “In this spirit, we welcome President Biden’s clearly demonstrated commitment to return the United States to full compliance with the JCPOA and to remain in full compliance as long as Iran does the same.”
They also stressed the potential benefits for Iran in renewing the agreement.
“A return to JCPOA compliance will ensure the lifting of sanctions with long-lasting consequences for Iran’s economic growth,” they said. “This will only be possible if Iran changes direction. We urge President Raisi to seize this opportunity and return to efforts in good faith to conclude our negotiations immediately. This is the only reliable way to avoid a dangerous escalation that is not in progress. interest of any country.
Russia, China and the EU are also marriages to the JCPOA, and four leaders have said they are committed to working with Moscow, Beijing and Brussels to revive the nuclear deal.