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France warns on Iran nuclear deal

Talks to resume later this month
Flag of Iran

PHOTO/ARCHIVO  -   Flag of Iran

France communicated on Friday that, if the Iran talks were suspected to be "a farce," negotiators would be forced to consider the nuclear deal as "empty."  

"If these discussions are a sham, we will have to consider the JCPOA without substance," communicated Jean-Yves Le Drian, France's foreign minister, referring to the Iran nuclear deal, in an interview hosted by Le Monde newspaper.  

"We will continue discussions from where they left off in June with the previous Iranian administration," Le Drian added.  

View of the nuclear water reactor in Arak, Iran, Dec. 23, 2019.
PHOTO/WANA (West Asia News Agency) - View of the nuclear water reactor in Arak, Iran, Dec. 23, 2019.

By early November, statements related to the issue were already being issued.  

Telephone conversations took place between Le Drian and his Iranian counterpart, Hossein Amir Abdollahian, in which the French foreign minister expressed the need to resume nuclear talks as agreed until June 20, the time when Tehran suspended the talks.  

These talks will continue later this month, on November 29, after Iran announced that it had managed to reach an agreement with the European Union to resume the Vienna Talks, which are aimed at reviving the nuclear agreement. 

Hossein Amir Abdollahian
PHOTO/ARCHIVO - Hossein Amir Abdollahian

The French Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the French Foreign Minister emphasized the importance of Iranian cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency.  

In response to the statements issued by the French side, Ali Bagheri, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs, flatly denied the existence of any nuclear negotiations during the Vienna talks, after holding a meeting in Paris on November 10 with Philippe Arora, Director General for Political Affairs at the French Foreign Ministry. 

"We do not have nuclear negotiations, because the nuclear issue has been resolved," Ali Bagheri communicated.  

Iran and the other world powers settled the deal in 2015.  

Mohammad Eslami, head of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran
AFP PHOTO / HO / IRANIAN PRESIDENCY - Mohammad Eslami, head of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran

However, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs stated that "the main issue before us today is the repercussions stemming from the US exit from the nuclear deal, as its repercussions are limited only to the illegal embargo measures imposed against Iran." 

According to information gathered by Reuters, quoting different officials and specialized analysts, he explained that Iran's strategy is to adopt a "tough" stance while the nuclear talks are taking place, due to the fact that it "bets on having the upper hand" to loosen the sanctions, in exchange for the imposition of restrictions on its nuclear technology. 

On the part of the United States, under former President Donald Trump, in 2018 it unilaterally withdrew from the agreement, and began again to impose sanctions on Iran, despite many of the European countries trying to get Washington to rejoin the agreement, which turned out to be a "failure" because the new Iranian government did not agree to continue the talks held between last April and June.  

Former President of the United States, Donald Trump
AP/LUIS M.ALVAREZ - Former President of the United States, Donald Trump

Following Trump's decision to violate the agreed deal, Iran has not been left at a disadvantage and has increased its stockpile of enriched uranium, increasing the purity rate and installing more advanced centrifuges to accelerate this process.   

Last Wednesday, the International Atomic Energy Agency reported that Iran had significantly increased both the level of uranium enrichment, as well as its stockpile, in violation of the most important restrictions of the 2015 nuclear deal.  

According to Reuters, in a quarterly report by the specialized agency of the United Nations Organization, an increase in Iran's stockpile of enriched uranium was estimated at 48.4 kilograms, being higher than the previous report of 2489.7 kilograms.  

Ebrahim Raisi, President of Iran
PHOTO/ARCHIVO -  Ebrahim Raisi, President of Iran

The report added that Iran's enriched uranium included about 17.7 kilograms of uranium hexafluoride (UF6), enriched to 60%, very close to the level required for weaponization.  

Also, it was reported that the agency was not given permission to enter the centrifuge components workshop in Karaj for the installation of cameras, so it was unable to monitor the actions carried out at the site.  

Last Wednesday, the Iranian Students News Agency, considered semi-official, reported that Iran does not accept the report of the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency, concerning the nuclear activities carried out by Tehran.  

The institution also asked the International Atomic Energy Agency to "stop making hasty comments".