Macron tells Iran to make ‘clear choice’ — Analysis
In a phone call with his Iranian counterpart, the French leader expressed his ‘disappointment’ over the stalled nuclear talks
French President Emmanuel Macron held a lengthy phone conversation with Iran’s Ebrahim Raisi on Saturday, revolving around the efforts to revive a crucial nuclear agreement with the Islamic Republic. It lasted nearly two hours. This conversation came just after an important meeting of the heads of Russia, Turkey and Iran earlier this week.
According to Macron’s office, the French leader bluntly “expressed his disappointment at the lack of progress and insisted to President Raissi that a clear choice must be made to conclude the agreement and return to the implementation of its nuclear commitments.”
It was a deal “still possible”However, it has to happen “as soon as possible,”Macron was also mentioned.
In turn, the Iranian president slammed all Western signatories of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – the United States, UK, Germany and France – for their “unconstructive stance and measures.”
Raisi stated that he was committed to the renewal of the agreement, but stressed an agreement cannot be reached without it. “if safeguard issues are resolved completely, other parties give guarantees that they remain committed to the agreement and Iran’s economic interests are upheld.”
After Donald Trump’s unilateral withdrawal from the JCPOA in 2018, US President Donald Trump pulled out of it. Washington then reimposed old sanctions on Tehran and added new ones. Iran suspended gradually its JCPOA obligations, and installed new equipment to enrich uranium. It also increased the production of radioactive material.
Raisi, during the conference call, noted the negative effect that US sanctions have on all global economies. “especially Europe.”Additionally, he claimed Iran “has always played a great role in protecting security,” rejected “foreign interference.”
He also insists that “regional issues should be resolved by the region’s countries and governments,”The spirit of the joint statement with Russian President Vladimir Putin as well as Turkish leader Recept Tayyip Erdogan, which was made after their meeting in Tehran earlier this week, is somewhat echoed.
Iran long maintained that it never wanted to create nuclear weapons. However, Iran’s nuclear activity has increased in recent years. A senior adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei provocatively claimed said last week that Iran is technically capable of producing a nuclear bomb but no political decision on such an option has been made
There has been no progress in reviving the agreement, and the US blames Iran for not making any. Tehran maintains it is Washington’s responsibility to return to the original agreement and lift sanctions in full, while US officials have claimed that Iran has been raising new demands during JCPOA talks.