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U.S. signals readiness to resume talks with Iran

22 Comments
By Richard Lough and William Schomberg

The United States is prepared to talk to Iran about both countries returning to compliance with a 2015 deal that aims to stop Tehran from developing a nuclear weapon, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told European allies on Thursday.

Blinken told his French, German and British counterparts that President Joe Biden's administration would return to the accord, known as the JCPOA, if Iran fell back into full compliance with the deal.

"Secretary Blinken reiterated that, as President Biden has said, if Iran comes back into strict compliance with its commitments under the JCPOA, the United States will do the same and is prepared to engage in discussions with Iran toward that end," the joint statement said.

London, Paris and Berlin welcomed Biden's intention to return to diplomacy with Iran. But Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif fired back that it was for Washington to make the first move.

Iran began breaching the deal in 2019 after then-President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the deal and reimposed economic sanctions.

Tehran has accelerated its breaches in recent months and become locked in a standoff with Biden's administration over who should move first to save the accord.

"Instead of sophistry & putting onus on Iran, E3/EU must abide by own commitments & demand an end to Trump's legacy of#EconomicTerrorism against Iran," Zarif said in a tweet.

"Our remedial measures are a response to US/E3 violations. Remove the cause if you fear the effect," he continued. "We'll follow ACTION w/ (with) action."

A French diplomatic source said Washington's shift marked an opening for Iran but that the path ahead was fraught with obstacles.

Tehran has set a deadline of next week for Biden to begin reversing sanctions imposed by Trump, or says it will take its biggest step yet to breach the deal - banning short-notice inspections by the U.N. nuclear watchdog permitted under an Additional Protocol.

Britain, France and Germany, known collectively as the E3, and the United States called on Iran not to take any additional steps "with respect to the suspension of the Additional Protocol and to any limitations on IAEA verification activities in Iran".

The ministers said they were determined that Iran should not get a nuclear weapon and "expressed their shared concerns over Iran’s recent actions to produce both uranium enriched up to 20% and uranium metal", the statement added.

Refining uranium to high levels of fissile purity is a potential pathway to nuclear bombs, though Iran has long said it its enrichment program is for peaceful energy purposes only.

Enrichment of 20% is well above the deal's 3.67% limit, though still well below the 90% that is weapons grade.

It was the second time Blinken had held discussions with his European counterparts since Biden took office last month promising to work more closely with allies than his predecessor.

"We're obviously concerned about the risk of further non-compliance by Iran with the JCPOA," British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said after the talks. "All the more reason to re-invigorate trans-Atlantic diplomacy."

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said: "I am pleased that the new U.S. administration is returning to the path of diplomacy."

© Thomson Reuters 2021.

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

22 Comments
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This will get Iranian oil flowing again.

-7 ( +6 / -13 )

As It should be..

Fixing all the damage Trump did..

This will get Iranian oil flowing again

Tissue??..

8 ( +13 / -5 )

This will get Iranian oil flowing again

Tissue??..

Gas prices going down... no tissue need.

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

Tehran? Deadlines? That's just funny.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

The latest in a number of stories that illustrate how the US is recovering its sanity under the presidency of Joe Biden.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Does anyone think that JT etc would say BOTH COUNTRIES are out of compliance if the US had imposed used the clause to impose sanctions because of Iran's failure to keep trying to comply with the increased nuclear restrictions in the JCPOA?

Or would treat as legitimate the Iranian position in that scenario that the US had to act as if Iran hadn't failed and then negotiate a new agreement before it would make any changes to what it was doing?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Good.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Talks are needed. Can't just ignore the situation. Will make Saudi mad but Biden's done that already by not supporting the war in Yemen and the Crown Prince getting the cold shoulder.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

In the article it says that "Iran began breaching the deal in 2019" as if Iran was somehow in the wrong. The deal stopped when the US unilaterally pulled out and imposed sanctions on Iran. The US should also be made to recompense Iran for the over one million barrels of fuel it stole from Iran.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

JCPOA is fundamentally flawed, the deal/agreement does not bind Iranian regime to desist or curtail the development advanced centrifuges, nor to any meaningful restriction on ballistic-missile development even the design and testing of long-range ballistic missiles.

So basically, blunting United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231.

Joe Biden is falling back to the position of the Obama administration, Biden served as Vice President.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Biden will cave to the “death to America” Islamofascists and give them everything they want just like Obama did. How many billions in cash will it cost this time Joe?

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

JCPOA is fundamentally flawed, the deal/agreement does not bind Iranian regime to desist or curtail the development advanced centrifuges, nor to any meaningful restriction on ballistic-missile development even the design and testing of long-range ballistic missiles.

Biden will cave to the “death to America” Islamofascists and give them everything they want just like Obama did. How many billions in cash will it cost this time Joe?

In 2016, Iran was complying with the JCPOA as verified by IAEA inspectors and was not enriching uranium above power generation levels...

At the end of 2020, after Trump withdrew from the Treaty, Iran has expanded their nuclear program and enriched uranium close to weapons-grade level...

So, is Iran closer to getting a nuclear weapon and are we safer now, compared to 2016?

Yes or no please.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Wolfpack: Biden will cave to the “death to America” Islamofascists and give them everything they want just like Obama did.

Actually the "Islamofascists" told the Iranian moderates that they should not make a deal because the US cannot be trusted. The moderates won out, we made a deal, and the Iranian nuclear threat was contained.

Then hothead Trump came along, pulled out of the deal, and immediately validated everything the Islamofascists said, giving them the credibility that Obama had sidelined.

Trump utterly failed to make any kind of progress whatsoever except for reversing Iran's containment. That's literally all he did. Pressuring Iran didn't work under Bush and it didn't work under Trump. What do Republicans want? More of the same. How many times do you have to run into a brick wall before you stop?

6 ( +8 / -2 )

As it should be.

The world welcomes our friends in Iran (and the US) back into the fold.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Lincolnman, it is not the JCPOA itself, it is what is noticeably missing.

The JCPOA, was never envisaged to be a form of arms control or either a non-nuclear proliferation agreement. JCPOA is/was a stalling tactic that was always going to come back a bite.

The Obama administration quite understandably saw the middle-east as a tinder box of potential military conflict without any sight of an end.

So, during the negotiations the US softened their stance with regard to standard IAEA procedures especially in the areas of releasing/turning over all paperwork/data and insisting Iranian nuclear specialists and engineers be formally interviewed by IAEA inspectors.

Had this been within the JCPOA remint inspectors could have identified a global dual-use import network.

The problem with Trump’s Iran policy, was there was no post-JCPOA Plan B after withdrawal.

Worst still was the involvement of John Bolton and Mike Pompeo. Like a red rag to a bull.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

As rotten as the fanatical regime ruling Iran, this is a better way.

Indeed.

But let's not forget the repugnant Mohammed Reza Pahlavi and his horrific regime (as supported by the US and others).

The people of Iran have suffered enough over generations.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Is Iran stupid enough to believe USA after the deaths of Gen.Soleimani and their top nuclear scienctist? Maybe Mr.Biden's presidency might last only 4years and after him, the Republicans popped up someone even more hard line than Donald Trump, so there will be another "Torn The Deal" is going to happen in2024!

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

@SuperLib: The moderates won out, we made a deal, and the Iranian nuclear threat was contained.

You can’t seriously believe that. The Iranians were supplying materials and support for IEDs that were killing US and allied soldiers in Iraq. Iran never stopped their nuclear weapons program. The naïveté of the Left when it comes to Iran is astounding. The Iranians, through their actions and words day in and day out are screaming at the world that they are a religious fascist state bent on exporting their destructive ideology. The Left is deaf to it all. It’s as possible if their own authoritarian ideology takes away all common sense.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The Iranians were supplying materials and support for IEDs that were killing US and allied soldiers in Iraq. Iran never stopped their nuclear weapons program. The naïveté of the Left when it comes to Iran is astounding.

So what? We sell billions in weapons to the Saids, the very people responsible for 9/11.

What makes Iran any worse than Saudi Arabia?

The Right doesn't even have a solution, put on the table before y'all starting whining.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Saudi is also a big supporter of terrorism.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The media that run stories about 'Iran breaching the JCPOA', and the people who claim Iran has a nuclear weapons program might look down on the media that ran stories about 'the election was stolen from Trump' and the people who claim Trump won reelection.

They shouldn't.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

At the end of 2020, after Trump withdrew from the Treaty, Iran has expanded their nuclear program and enriched uranium close to weapons-grade level...

Some info on the science:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jul/07/iran-uranium-enrichment-programme-the-science-explained

When enrichment reaches 20%, the threshold for what counts as “highly enriched uranium”, and a level Iran has produced at Natanz in the past, about 90% of the work towards weapons-grade uranium is done.

...

The more enriched the uranium, the less is needed for a weapon. At 20% U-235 enrichment, the critical mass is about 400kg, but at 90% enrichment the mass drops to about 28kg.

If Iran only wants to make power from their uranium, then only 4% enrichment levels are used. Anything higher is NOT for nuclear power.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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