France urges Iran, US to return to the worldwide nuclear agreement

Nellie Chapman
January 19, 2021

President-elect Joe Biden, who was vice president when the deal was signed during the Obama administration, has said he hopes to return the U.S.to the deal.

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden, who takes office on January 20, has pledged to return the United States to the deal "if Iran resumes strict compliance" with the agreement that imposed strict curbs on its nuclear activities in return for the lifting of sanctions. The maximum purity of this current stockpile is 4.5%, but if enriched to weapons grade of 90% purity it would be enough material for two weapons, some experts say.

"The hard-liners want to show public opinion they can achieve better outcomes", said one senior Iranian official.

Iran is now stockpiling more than 10 times as much low-enriched uranium as the accord allows, albeit far below its pre-deal levels.

"We strongly encourage Iran to end this activity, and return to full compliance with its commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action without delay, if it is serious about preserving this agreement", France, Britain and Germany said in a joint statement.

In December the country's parliament passed a law that would suspend part of snap inspections the nuclear deal provided to inspectors in late February should the US banking and oil sanctions remain in place. Iran isn't just coming up with that now, as the IAEA reports similarly noted this use, which the media broadly ignored for the sake of scaring people about uranium metal.

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On Sunday, the US Air Force conducted this year's second B-52 "presence patrol" over the Middle East, which came amidst rising military tensions between Iran and the US, which in cooperation with Israel has engaged in frequent air and naval patrols and reconnaissance in the region, prompting Iran to promise a powerful response to any escalation.

The Israeli daily reported that Iran is facing difficulties reinforcing its existence west of Damascus due to the Israeli strikes, as well as the sanctions imposed on it. He also criticized Europe's dependence on approval of every single banking transaction with Iran by the US treasury.

While Trump quit the nuclear deal and introduced illegal sanctions on Iran in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 2231, the other parties, including Europeans, failed to protect Iran from USA sanctions.

Mr. Rouhani's conservative opponents say President Trump's withdrawal from the nuclear deal vindicated their view that the USA couldn't be trusted, and diplomacy was a mistake. But Tehran says it could quickly reverse those steps if Washington first lifts its sanctions.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.

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