In brief: European plans censure motion as Iran rejects offer of nuclear deal talks

July 2015 Iran nuclear deal: agreement in Vienna. From left to right: Foreign ministers/secretaries of state Wang Yi (China), Laurent Fabius (France), Frank-Walter Steinmeier (Germany), Federica Mogherini (EU), Mohammad Javad Zarif (Iran), Philip Hammond (UK), John Kerry (USA). (Photo: Dragan Tatic, CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons)

Britain, France and Germany are planning to use a meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency this week to censure Iran for attempting to curtail inspections of its nuclear sites. The news comes as the Islamic republic on Sunday rejected a European offer to host an informal meeting involving the US aimed at reviving the 2015 nuclear deal. That offer followed the Biden administration’s announcement that it was prepared to “reengage” in negotiations on Iran’s nuclear programme. Joe Biden has offered to rejoin the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action if Iran returns to compliance with it. But Iran has instead adopted a series of confrontational steps with the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, last Monday saying it would “not back down” on the nuclear issue and threatening to ramp up uranium enrichment. The motion presented by Britain, France and Germany at this week’s IAEA board of governors – which the US backs – is expected to criticise Iran’s decision last week to implement a new law severely curtailing nuclear inspections. A last-minute, stop-gap compromise negotiated by Tehran and the IAEA will allow the agency to continue some of its work over the next three months but director Rafael Grossi admitted it would mean “less access”. The European motion expresses “serious concern” at Iran’s actions and urges it to “immediately resume” its commitments. On Sunday, Iran said the time for informal negotiations was not “suitable” and instead called for sanctions imposed by the Trump administration to be lifted. Iran also wants compensation for the $710bn economic damage allegedly inflicted by the US.
Read full article