Informal negotiations stalled after Iran’s new hardline president was elected in June. Tehran has caused an international outcry in recent months over the broadening scope of its nuclear program.
“US President Joe Biden has signaled his eagerness to resume direct talks, but Iranian officials have yet to do the same.”
The German Foreign Ministry on Wednesday said it “vehemently” urged Iran to restart negotiations aimed at reviving a defunct nuclear deal.
“We are ready to do so, but the time window won’t be open indefinitely,” a ministry spokesman said.
The French foreign ministry made a similar statement later on Wednesday.
In 2015, Iran, the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Russia, China, plus EU representatives, worked out a deal to place curbs on Iran’s nuclear program. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) sought to prevent Iran from making nuclear weapons by restricting the extent to which it could enrich uranium, install nuclear centrifuges, and stockpile radioactive material. In exchange, the other signatories agreed to drop certain sanctions against Tehran.
However, the JCPOA quickly became the target of former US President Donald Trump’s attempts to dismantle the foreign policy legacies of his predecessor, Barack Obama, and he withdrew the US from the deal in 2018.
After Trump lost the 2020 US election, renewed attempts have been made to resurrect the agreement. Indirect talks between Tehran and Washington were held in Austria in April, before being put on hold entirely after hardliner Ebrahim Raisi was elected president of Iran in June.
Iran disputes accusations
On Tuesday evening, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said the “other parties” should be well aware that a new administration requires a few months to get set up. He rejected the notion that Iran was “walking away from the negotiating table.”
US President Joe Biden has signaled his eagerness to resume direct talks, but Iranian officials have yet to do the same.
Since 2018, Iran has enriched uranium far beyond the restrictions set in place by the JCPOA, prompting Germany, France, and the UK to voice “grave concerns” about the news. However, the government has consistently denied that they are seeking to make atomic weapons.