Merkel's call to Iran sparks new demands on nuclear deal

Merkel's call to Iran sparks new demands on nuclear deal

According to a summary of the conversation provided by Michel's office, he expressed concern over Iran's "departure" from its commitments under the nuclear deal but also stressed "the European Union will continue to deploy efforts to facilitate the full implementation of the JCPOA and the return of the United States of America to the agreement" - an acknowledgment that it was Trump who unilaterally abandoned the accord in 2018 and reimposed economic sanctions on Iran.

Britain, France, Germany and the U.S. said after talks based in Paris that they were "united in underlining the unsafe nature of a decision to limit IAEA access" ahead of a February 21 deadline set by the Iranian parliament.

Mills said in the letter obtained by The Associated Press that sanctions measures terminated in the 2015 council resolution endorsing the nuclear deal with six major powers, but restored by Trump in September, "remain terminated".

The Biden administration moves represent the first significant, if small, steps toward restoring diplomacy on the 2015 Iran nuclear deal sealed during the Obama administration, in which Iran's nuclear program was restricted in exchange for sanctions relief.

"The E3 [France, Germany and the U.K.] and the United States affirmed their shared objective of Iran's return to full compliance with its commitments under the JCPOA". "They want Washington to lift the sanctions - if that happens they say they will come back to the deal", he explained.

Analysts say only a small window of opportunity remains to save the deal as Tehran ramps up its nuclear work in retaliation against the reimposition of sanctions that followed the U.S. walkout. In 2018, he upheld a promise to withdraw the United States from the agreement and reimpose sanctions on Iran. "When that didn't happen, in 2019, that's when Iran started step-by-step scaling back some of its commitments", he added.

Grossi, who heads the UN-backed nuclear watchdog group, seeks to foster an agreement allowing the continuation of the agency's inspections and verification activities in the country, the organization said Wednesday. Until now, President Biden, who campaigned on reviving the nuclear pact, has said the US would rejoin the deal as soon as Iran resumed complying with the terms that restrict its production of nuclear materials.

"Iran should reverse the steps and refrain from taking others that would impact the IAEA assurances on which not only the United States, not only our allies and partners in the region, but the entire world relies", he said, adding that Blinken saw an "important role" for the EU.

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The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), signed in Vienna in 2015, was based on Iran accepting safeguards created to prevent it developing an atomic bomb, in exchange for a gradual easing of global sanctions.

Talking about Iran's resilience in the face of the "maximum pressure" policy of the Trump administration, Rouhani said, "The enemy brought all of its pressure and suspended our sale of oil".

During the meeting the foreign ministers "expressed their shared concerns" over Tehran's commencement of uranium enrichment up to 20%, according to the statement.

In her talks with Rouhani, Merkel said that "now was the time for positive signals that create trust and increase the chances of a diplomatic solution".

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks to staff at the US State Department during the first visit by US President Joe Biden in Washington, DC, on February 4, 2021.

In another move, officials said the administration has eased extremely strict limits on the travel of Iranian diplomats accredited to the United Nations.

The officials said the USA had reversed travel restrictions that the Trump administration had put in place on Iranian diplomats at the United Nations.

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