JEDDAH: French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday urged Iran to stop aggravating the already grave crisis over its nuclear program by multiplying violations of the 2015 deal with world powers on its atomic program.
“Iran must stop worsening the nuclear situation that is already serious by accumulating violations of the Vienna accord,” Macron told reporters alongside visiting Israeli President Reuven Rivlin. “Iran must make the expected gestures and behave in a responsible manner,” he said.
The new administration of US President Joe Biden has indicated it is prepared to re-enter the nuclear deal after Donald Trump walked out in 2015, but so far there has been no sign of any breakthrough as Tehran ramps up its nuclear work.
“France is fully mobilized for a relaunch of a credible process to find a solution to this crisis,” Macron added. “This means returning to a control and supervision of the Iranian nuclear program while also integrating a control of Iran’s ballistic activity in the region.”
However, Biden’s administration has said it will rejoin the deal and start lifting sanctions against Iran if it returns to full compliance. But Tehran rejected this precondition, pressing on with increasing nuclear work in retaliation for Trump’s so-called “maximum pressure” sanctions policy to weaken the Iranian regime, which has had no official relations with Washington for four decades.
Dr. Majid Rafizadeh, a Harvard-educated Iranian-American political scientist, told Arab News: “Reviving the 2015 nuclear deal would be a strategic mistake that could devastate the Middle East.
“By returning to a deal that brought nothing but heightened destruction and instability, the Biden administration would leave the regional powers with no option other than to take firm action against Iran without the US, in order to stop Tehran’s military adventurism in the region.”
France, along with Britain, Germany and the EU, is trying to bring the US and Iran to the table for informal talks that would be a first step to reviving the 2015 deal, which lifted international sanctions on Tehran in exchange for curbs to its nuclear program.
Both sides so far appear unwilling to compromise. The Iranian New Year this week and campaigning for the country’s presidential election in June are also likely to complicate matters.
Iran has ruled out broadening nuclear talks to other subjects. Since the US quit the 2015 deal, Iran has progressively reduced its compliance with the pact.