Published: Thu, July 11, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

French envoy holds talks in Tehran in bid to salvage nuclear deal

French envoy holds talks in Tehran in bid to salvage nuclear deal

Under the deal, Iran undertakes to curb its nuclear activities and place them under the total control of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in exchange of abandonment of the sanctions imposed previously by the United Nations Security Council, the European Union and the United States over its nuclear program. Tehran last week confirmed it had exceeded the limit and has been begun enriching at 5 percent, which is still far from the 90 percent needed for nuclear weapons.

Iran was enriching uranium up to 20 per cent purity before the 2015 deal, although back then it had a far larger stockpile than it is likely to be able to rebuild in the short term. Iran denies any involvement in the attacks on the tankers and says the drone had veered into its airspace.

"Such brinkmanship and extortion tactics will neither resolve the current impasse nor bring Iran sanctions relief".

"There is no way to read this as anything other than a crude and transparent attempt to extort payments from the global community", Wolcott said.

Iran's representative, Kazem Gharib Abadi, stressed Iran's nuclear program was for "peaceful purposes" and said his country was prepared to resume full implementation of the JCPOA, "commensurate with the implementation of the commitments by all participants".

"It was a huge mistake by the Americans to leave the deal", said Behrouz Kamalvandi, a spokesman for Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation.

Russian delegate Mikhail Ulyanov fired back at the meeting, saying the U.S. could not reject the deal while at the same time calling for Iran's full implementation of it.

He told the assembled diplomats it was an "oddity" that the meeting had been called by the USA, "the country that declared the JCPOA to be a "terrible deal".

"In practice, it turns out that Washington is aware of the importance of the [JCPOA]", said Ulyanov.

The envoy also called on the members of the International Atomic Energy Agency to condemn the United States destructive moves on Iran nuclear deal.

He said the current talks are focused on the implementation of the current nuclear deal and fulfilling the obligations of France, the UK, Germany as well as Russian Federation and China.

The United States will use an emergency meeting of the U.N. nuclear watchdog's board on Wednesday to raise pressure on Iran over breaches of its nuclear deal, but diplomats expect no concrete action as parties to the deal considers their next move.

In the past two weeks Iran has breached two limits central to the deal, which aimed to extended the time Iran would need to obtain enough fissile material for a nuclear weapon, if it chose to, to a year from around 2-3 months.

Tehran is not seeking tensions over its nuclear issue, he said, adding that the European countries should address "the root cause of the tensions" if they really seek to calm the situation.

In its statement to the IAEA board, the European Union urged Iran to return to compliance but also added it "deeply regrets the USA withdrawal and calls on all countries to refrain from taking any actions that impede the implementation of the JCPOA commitments".

Al Jazeera's Jonah Hull, reporting from Vienna, noted Tehran was continuing to allow IAEA inspectors to do their work. Trump has used the worst language against the JCPOA.

Tension between Iran and the US have been on the rise.

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