ROM – Tehran’s recent efforts to advance its nuclear program and obstruct the work of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) observers risk a complete collapse of the nuclear deal with Iran, leaders of the US, Britain, Germany and France warned on Saturday.
The agreement known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was largely left in ruins after it was terminated by then US President Donald Trump in May 2018. When the US withdrew and re-imposed sanctions, Iran broke its own commitments.
US President Joe Biden has expressed his willingness to return to the deal, but negotiations stalled, especially after the election of Iran’s new President Ebrahim Raisi in June.
The statement by the four Western powers that have joined 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.
In their statement, the leaders cited Iran’s recent efforts to accelerate its nuclear program and efforts to block the work of the inspectors. “We agreed that continued Iranian nuclear advances and obstacles to the work of the IAEA threaten the possibility of a return to the JCPOA,” they said.
The leaders said they met “to discuss the risks Iran’s escalating nuclear program poses to international security.”
“We have expressed our determination to ensure that Iran can never develop or acquire a nuclear weapon, and shared our grave and growing concern that although Iran stopped negotiations on a return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action since June, it did Accelerated the pace of provocations has been accelerated by nuclear steps such as the production of highly enriched uranium and enriched uranium metal. ”
“Iran does not have a credible civilian need for either measure,” they added, “but both are important to nuclear weapons programs.”
Iran has repeatedly alleged that the US withdrawal from the deal and Washington’s refusal to honor its commitments resulted in the dissolution of the deal. It also insisted that it did not intend to develop nuclear weapons.
In their declaration, the four Western heads of state and government emphasized Biden’s readiness to re-accede to the agreement
“The current situation underscores the importance of a negotiated solution that will see Iran and the US return to full compliance with the JCPOA and form the basis for continued diplomatic engagement to resolve the remaining issues, both ours and Iran’s. ” called. “With that in mind, we applaud President Biden’s strong commitment to bring the US back to full compliance with the JCPOA and ensure full compliance as long as Iran does the same.”
They also highlighted possible benefits for Iran in restoring the deal.
“The return to JCPOA compliance will result in the lifting of sanctions with long-term implications for Iran’s economic growth,” they said. “That will only be possible if Iran changes course. We call on President Raisi to seize this opportunity and again to seek in good faith to bring our negotiations to an urgent conclusion. This is the only way to avoid a dangerous escalation that is not in any country’s interest. ”
Russia, China and the EU are also guarantors of the JCPOA, and the four leaders said they are determined to work with Moscow, Beijing and Brussels to revive the nuclear deal.