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Berlin, Paris, London warn Iran over nuclear deal

February 12, 2021

Germany, France and the UK condemned Iran's uranium production, hoping that Tehran and Washington could return to the nuclear deal negotiations.

Iran's nuclear facility in Isfahan pictured from satellite
The International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed 3.6 grams of uranium metal at this Iranian fuel plate Plant in IsfahanImage: Maxar Technologies/​REUTERS

Amid hopes to revitalize the nuclear accord with Iran, Germany, France and the United Kingdom said Iran was risking it by breaching the commitments it accepted in 2015.

Previously, a UN agency confirmed that Iran was violating the deal by producing uranium metal. The three European powers want to see Iran and the United States take part in new talks over the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

"In escalating its non-compliance, Iran is undermining the opportunity for renewed diplomacy to fully realize the objectives of the JCPOA," they said in a joint letter.

The German Foreign Ministry said on Twitter that the three countries believed that Iran had "no credible civilian justification" to produce uranium metal.   

Iran recently said that the European Union could mediate in its the conflict with the US over the deal.

Lifting sanctions or compliance: Which comes first? 

The United States and Iran had signaled their interest in reviving the JCPOA after Joe Biden took office in the White House in January. However, the two countries clash on preconditions that would allow them to go back to the negotiations table. 

Iran demands that the US lift the sanctions it imposed on Tehran. However, Washington wants Iran to first comply with the deal, which means reducing its uranium production to the agreed cap of 3.67%. 

On Thursday, Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said on Twitter that the US was the one to withdraw from the deal, and therefore it must first return. 

Tehran stopped complying with its commitments in the deal after former US President Donald Trump pulled out from the JCPOA in 2018. 

fb/dj (AFP, dpa, Reuters)