On Wednesday French President Emmanuel Macron’s diplomatic adviser met with the president of Iran to conclude a day of talks in Tehran to save a historic nuclear deal in 2015 and ease tensions between Tehran and Washington.
But when Emmanuel Bonne pushed high-level talks, President Donald Trump warned on Twitter that US sanctions against Iran would soon be “substantially strengthened,” accusing Tehran of “long been secretly ‘enriching’” uranium.
The 2015 agreement between Iran and the world powers, Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), promised a lifting of sanctions, economic benefits and the end of international isolation in exchange for strict restrictions on the nuclear program of the Islamic republic.
But Tehran says it has lost patience with perceived inaction by European countries more than a year after Trump unilaterally withdrew the US out of the agreement and started to impose punishing sanctions.
In his meeting with Bonne, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said Tehran had “completely kept the path of diplomacy and talks open”, according to a statement from his office.
He called on other parties to the deal to “completely implement their commitments” to keep it alive.
Mr. Bonne also met with secretary of the Supreme National Security Council of Iran Ali Shamkhani, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his deputy Abbas Araghchi.
His mission was “to try and open the discussion space to avoid an uncontrolled escalation, or even an accident”, according to French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.
Before meeting with Bonne, Zarif said “negotiations are never possible under pressure”, in reference to US sanctions against Iran.
Pointing to the US withdrawal from the JCPOA, he added that the Europeans “must solve that problem.”
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