UK urges Tehran to cease flouting nuclear deal

11 March 2021

While the UK remains committed to making the Iran nuclear deal a success, Tehran must stop all activity that breaches the terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA), and come back into compliance, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told Iranian President Hassan Rouhani during their telephone call yesterday. Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken reportedly said the Biden Administration is unwilling to compromise further on efforts to encourage Tehran to hold talks with the USA.


According Downing Street, Johnson stressed the importance of Iran "seizing the opportunity" presented by the USA's willingness to return to the deal if Iran comes back into compliance. Johnson also "underlined the need for Iran to cease wider destabilising activity and be a positive force in the Gulf region", the statement added.

Iran's Fars news agency reported that Rouhani had told Johnson the USA has no option but to lift its economic sanctions against Tehran.

"If we are after diplomacy, the path is clear … It’s the lifting of sanctions and the US fulfilling of its commitments, and there is no other option,” Rouhani said. Although the new US administration has expressed its willingness to rejoin the JCPoA, it has "failed to take any practical measure whatsoever", he added.

Rouhani pointed to the fact that the US withdrawal was a unilateral action, saying they did not negotiate their way out of the JCPoA, and therefore, do not need to negotiate their way into the deal.

Earlier this week, Tehran dismissed media reports about contact between Iran and Washington, saying that "very close talks" are being held, but with other parties to the nuclear deal and none with the USA.

The New York Times reported today that, although many senior US administration officials had negotiated the nuclear deal while working for former president Barack Obama, and still support it, they also say they are unwilling to compromise further.

"Can you assure us that we’re not going to make concessions just to get a meeting?" Representative Brad Sherman, Democrat of California, asked Blinken yesterday during a House hearing, according to the US newspaper. "I can," Blinken responded. "Do we expect that before we give them sanctions relief that they will verifiably either be in full compliance with the JCPoA or be on a negotiated path toward full compliance?" Sherman asked. "Yes," Blinken said.

On 4 March, Rafael Mariano Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, announced a new agreement with Tehran for a face-to-face meeting between technical experts to take place early next month. Grossi said the aim of the agreement is for the agency and Iran to stop "talking past each other".

Researched and written by World Nuclear News