The governments of France, Germany, and the United Kingdom have been negotiating in good faith with Iran since April 2021 with the goal of restoring and fully implementing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), along with the other participants in this agreement and the United States. After a year and a half of negotiations, in early August the JCPOA coordinator presented a set of final texts allowing Iran to return to honoring its commitments under the JCPOA, and for the United States to once again become a participant in the agreement.
The additional modifications made by the moderator in this final version have taken us to the limits of our flexibility. Unfortunately, Iran chose not to take advantage of this crucial diplomatic opportunity. Instead, it continued to expand its nuclear program beyond any acceptable civilian justification.
As we near an agreement, Iran has reopened separate issues related to its legally binding international obligations under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and its safeguards agreement under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons with the International Atomic Energy Agency (International Atomic Energy Agency). These latter demands raise serious doubts about Iran’s intentions and determination to achieve a positive outcome on the JCPOA. Iran’s stance is inconsistent with its legally binding international obligations and threatens prospects for restoring the JCPOA.
Last June, the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Board of Governors overwhelmingly passed a resolution calling on Iran to act urgently to address the agency’s outstanding questions. Three months passed without Iran taking any action, which was confirmed by the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency in his latest report.
Our position is clear and firm. Iran must cooperate fully, without delay, and in good faith with the International Atomic Energy Agency. It is up to him to provide technically credible answers to the IAEA’s questions regarding the location of all nuclear materials on Iranian soil. In no case can the JCPOA be used to enable Iran to avoid fulfilling its legally binding international obligations, which are essential to the international non-proliferation regime.
Given Iran’s refusal to enter into the proposed deal, we will consult with our international partners on how to respond to Iran’s continued nuclear escalation and non-cooperation with the IAEA under its safeguards agreement under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
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