The United States said Thursday it was ready to sit down at the table with Iran and negotiate the country’s return to the nuclear deal, abandoned by Donald Trump in 2018.
Tehran reacted coldly to the US initiative, which was briefed to some treaty partners during a video conference between US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and the foreign ministers of the UK, France and the United Kingdom. ‘Germany.
Blinken reiterated Joe Biden’s leadership position to return to the deal if Iran fulfills its share – which includes reducing uranium enrichment centrifuges by two-thirds, reducing the stockpile of materials by 98% , the prevention of the use of plutonium and the limitation of the operation of nuclear installations, subject to inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The US secretary said that the return to the agreement “is a fundamental achievement of multilateral diplomacy,” according to a statement from the US State Department.
A US official told Reuters news agency, on condition of anonymity, that Washington must accept the European Union’s invitation to dialogue with Iran and five other powers that negotiated the original deal in 2015 – United Kingdom, China, France, Germany and Russia.
An official in Biden’s leadership, also speaking on condition of anonymity to the New York Times, said negotiations would take place if other powers, including China and Russia, sat down at the table, which leaves open the question of whether regional leaders are excluded from the latest agreement. – Saudi Arabia, Israel and the United Arab Emirates – would play a role.
London, Paris and Berlin have hailed Biden’s intention to resume diplomatic relations with Iran, but the Chancellor of the Middle Eastern country, Mohammad Javad Zarif, has entrusted Washington with the responsibility of making the first step.
Tehran started violating the deal in 2019, after the United States left, and then President Donald Trump reimposed economic sanctions. Iran has increased its height, announced its withdrawal from the pact in January 2020, and in recent months has accelerated non-compliance, blocking a standoff with the Biden government on who should act first to save the treaty.
“Instead of making fallacies and placing the burden on Iran, the E3 / EU must meet its own commitments and demand an end to the legacy of #Trump’s economic terrorism against Iran,” wrote Zarif on Twitter, referring to the UK, France and Germany as E3. “Our corrective actions are a response to the US / E3 violations. Remove the cause if you are concerned about the effect, ”he continued. “We are responding to ACTION with action.”
Interlocutors linked to the negotiations heard by Reuters and the New York Times say Washington’s decision marked an opening for Iran, but the way forward will be strewn with obstacles.
The first is Tehran’s ultimatum asking Biden to lift Trump’s sanctions by the end of next week. Left unchecked, the Middle Eastern country has threatened its biggest violation of the deal: a ban on last-minute inspections.
The US president has already said he would withdraw the measures if Iran fulfills its part of the pact. For Tehran, however, the United States was the first to violate the terms of the deal and, as Zarif reaffirmed on Thursday, the country would only act after Washington authorized oil sales and operations. banking worldwide.
The UK, France, Germany and the US have called on Iran to stop taking action. Representatives of the four countries said they were determined to ensure that Tehran does not receive any nuclear weapons and “expressed concern over recent actions to produce 20% enriched uranium and metallic uranium. “, they said in a joint statement.
The agreement sets a limit of 3.67% for uranium enrichment, although the current level is far from the 90% required for weapons production.
Another impasse is the presidential election due to take place in four months in Iran. It is unclear whether Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamanei and other political and military leaders in the country would support a resumption of relations with the United States.
Until they manage to overcome the difficulties and, in fact, sit down at the negotiating table, Biden’s management has already taken steps to show their will. The US government withdrew a predecessor’s request to the UN Security Council to impose international sanctions on Iran for violating the agreement – which was rejected by almost all countries.
In addition, restrictions on entry by Iranian officials to the United States for UN meetings have also been removed, an official told The New York Times on condition of anonymity.
With Reuters and the New York Times