Three European powers and the United States will hold talks on Thursday to try to save the 2015 agreement on Iran’s nuclear program, days before a deadline set by Tehran that could limit inspections of its nuclear sites.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian will host his German counterparts Heiko Maas and British Dominic Raab in Paris, and they will be joined by videoconference by the new US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken.
The meeting « will be devoted mainly to Iran and regional security in the Middle East », the French Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Analysts estimate there is little chance left to salvage the nuclear deal, which took a near-fatal blow when former President Donald Trump unilaterally left it in 2018.
The new president, Joe Biden, has said that he is willing to rejoin the pact and begin lifting sanctions if Tehran fully complies again., a precondition that Tehran rejects.
To further increase the pressure, Iran will restrict some inspections by the UN nuclear agency if the United States does not lift its sanctions imposed since 2018 by February 21, according to the terms of a bill approved in December by Parliament.
The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, in an unusual phone call on Wednesday to Iranian President Hasan Rohani, expressed her « concern over Iran’s continuing non-compliance with its obligations in the nuclear agreement. »Berlin said.