France’s Foreign Ministry Tells Iran to Return to JCPOA Compliance

The French foreign ministry told a senior Iranian envoy that Tehran had to return to compliance to the 2015 nuclear deal, taking steps to ensure the de-escalation of tensions in the Gulf.

Iran’s deputy foreign minister Abbas Araghchi, who was the chief Iranian negotiator for the 2015 nuclear deal, met President Emmanuel Macron in Paris on Tuesday. Macron has tried to initiate mediation between Tehran and Washington, however, these efforts have not yet resulted in any kind of agreement.

“[This meeting] served to remind the Iranian president’s envoy that we expect Iran to return quickly in accordance with its commitments under the Vienna Agreement and to take the necessary steps to engage in an essential de-escalation,” the French foreign ministry said in a statement.

Tensions in the Gulf have escalated ever since US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the United States from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran nuclear agreement. The United States proclaimed it intends to bring down Iran’s sale of oil to zero and re-introduced sanctions on almost all major sectors of the Iranian economy.

In May, Tehran announced its own decision to partially suspend obligations under the JCPOA and gave the other agreement signatories – France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Russia, China and the European Union – 60 days to save the accord by facilitating oil exports and trade with Iran. As the deadline expired, Iran said it would begin enriching uranium beyond the 3.67 percent level set in the JCPOA and warned it would gradually abandon its nuclear commitments every 60 days.

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