The EU-led virtual meeting will seek to involve Iran and the United States in resuming compliance with the GCPOA nuclear deal.
The European Union (EU) has announced that officials from the remaining parties to the 2015 nuclear deal will meet in a meeting on Friday to discuss a possible return to a landmark US agreement, a move that Washington has welcomed as a “positive step”.
The administration’s new US president, Joe Biden, is trying to get Iran involved in talks with both sides to resume compliance with the deal, under which the United States and other economic sanctions on Tehran have been lifted rather than resisting Iran’s nuclear program.
The European Union said in a statement on Thursday that “participants will discuss the possibility of a return to the United States in the GCPOA (Joint Integrated Plan of Action in the United States) and how it can ensure full and effective implementation of the agreement by all parties.” The contract in its official name.
JCPOA: Joint Commission for Practical Reconciliationhttps://t.co/DvhhpCs4Ai
– European External Action Service – EEAS ?? (ই IU_IAS) April 1, 2021
Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, unilaterally withdrew from the agreement in 2018, a landmark agreement signed in Vienna three years ago by Iran, China, Russia, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States. Trump reiterated US sanctions and called on Iran to take revenge even after waiting more than a year for violating some of the treaty’s nuclear sanctions.
Punitive measures have crippled lives in Iran, barring the government from importing food, medicine and the CVID-19 vaccine.
Biden’s promise to rejoin the deal – reached when he was vice president under former President Barack Obama’s administration – is the first time Iran has returned a promise that was withdrawn in retaliation for Trump’s decision.
But on Wednesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the Biden administration had not been effectively transformed and that his country had not seen “serious efforts” from the United States.
In a series of reports earlier this week, the Biden administration offered Iran new sanctions, including a lifting of some sanctions, in exchange for halting 20 percent uranium enrichment.
A top Iranian official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told state-run Press TV that partial lifting of sanctions would not reduce Iran’s uranium enrichment.
US State Department spokesman Ned Price said the United States welcomed Friday’s meeting as a “positive step.”
“We have been clear for weeks now that we are ready to go back to fulfilling our JCPO commitment with Iran,” Price said, adding that Washington had “agreed to achieve it through multiple initial reciprocal steps.”
Negotiations are underway
Meanwhile, two diplomatic sources said the United Kingdom, France and Germany had already held talks with Iran on Monday, and one said Iran’s proposal had been discussed. The sources spoke on condition of anonymity, Reuters news agency reported.
Separately, a French Foreign Ministry spokesman told reporters in a daily briefing that European powers are working closely with Russia and China, the GCPOA co-signatories, to resolve the stalemate and have held talks with both Tehran and Washington.
“These exchanges are more than necessary because Iran did not recognize the participation in direct communication between the GCPOA and other US participants … which would have facilitated negotiations,” said Adnes von der Muhl.
Without elaborating, he said they were now looking at alternative formats to activate the discussion.