| 1 February 2023, Wednesday |

France says nuclear talks with Iran must resume where they left off

On Tuesday, France’s foreign minister told his Iranian counterpart that when talks with world powers to restart a nuclear deal resume at the end of November, they must pick up where they left off in June.

The comments indicate growing concern about Iran’s public rhetoric as indirect talks between Iran and the US resume in Vienna on November 29.

On Monday, Tehran demanded that the US lift all sanctions imposed since then-President Donald Trump abandoned a 2015 deal between Iran and major powers, as well as guarantee that it would not abandon the deal again.

In a phone call with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian “stressed the importance and urgency of resuming the negotiations interrupted on June 20 by Iran, on the basis negotiated up to that date, with the goal of a rapid return (to the accord),” according to a ministry spokesperson.

Iran agreed to limit its nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of United Nations sanctions that had stifled its economy.

Since Trump’s withdrawal from the agreement in 2018, Iran has responded to the imposition of US sanctions by exceeding the limits on uranium enrichment, which can be used to make nuclear weapons fuel.

Ali Bagheri Kani, Iran’s top nuclear negotiator, was in Paris on Tuesday as part of a tour of the capitals of France, Britain, and Germany, the three European parties to the pact.

After speaking with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, Amirabdollahian was quoted by Iranian state media on Tuesday as saying that the US withdrawal and Europe’s failure to meet their obligations had “deepened mistrust.”

  • Reuters