World powers and Iran will meet by videoconference to consider the likely return of the United States to the Iran nuclear deal, the EU announced Thursday, in a development welcomed by Washington.
Delegates of China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and Iran — the countries still gather to the agreement after the US left — will attend Friday’s meeting. “Participants will discuss the prospect of a possible return of the United States to the JCPOA, and how to ensure the full and effective implementation of the agreement by all sides,” the statement said, referring to the deal by its initials.
US State Department spokesman Ned Price informed the reporters that “we obviously welcome this as a positive step”.
“We are ready to pursue a return to compliance with our JCPOA commitments consistent with Iran also doing the same,” Price said.
The US is speaking to partners “about the best way to achieve this, including through a series of initial mutual steps,” he added.
The meeting will take together the body that manages the implementation of the JCPOA, which has been under menace since then-US President Donald Trump drew out in 2018 and Iran began to continue nuclear activities it had ascended back. The online meeting will be chaired by senior European Union diplomat Enrique Mora on behalf of EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell.
Trump accused the 2015 accord, which saw Iran granted assistance from international sanctions in exchange for allowing limits on its nuclear programme, which Western powers worried would lead to it earning an atomic weapon. But new US President Joe Biden has agreed to rejoin the agreement on condition Tehran first returns to respecting the assurances left in retaliation for Trump’s decision.
In the month’s beginning, supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Iran may return to full compliance if Tehran deems Washington has accepted its commitments.
The deal was signed by Iran in Vienna in 2015 with the major powers United States, China, Russia, Germany, France, United Kingdom, under an EU chair. It was intended to prevent the Islamic Republic from obtaining a nuclear arsenal by requiring strict limits on its nuclear programme and force it to remain exclusively civilian and peaceful.