EU powers in talks to revive Iran nuclear deal

Photo: EPA Jean-Yves Le Drian

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian will host his today his German and British counterparts in Paris, with America's top diplomat Antony Blinken joining via videoconference in attempt to make a step towards reviving 215 Iran nuclear deal, AFP reported.

The talks come just days ahead of a deadline set by Tehran that could hinder the efforts by limiting inspections. According to analysts, only a small window of opportunity remains to save the landmark deal, which was dealt a near-fatal blow when former US president Donald Trump walked out of the accord in 2018.

Adding to the tension, Iran plans to restrict some UN nuclear agency inspections if the US does not lift its sanctions by 21 February, under the terms of a bill adopted by its parliament in December. The administration of Joe Biden has said it is prepared to rejoin the deal and start lifting sanctions if Iran returns to full compliance, a precondition disputed by Tehran.

Highlighting the tough path ahead, German Chancellor Angela Merkel voiced "concern" that Iran was failing to meet its obligations in telephone talks with President Hassan Rouhani, her spokesman said in a statement.

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Rafael Grossi is to travel to Tehran on Saturday for talks with the Iranian authorities to find a solution for continuing inspections in the country, the agency said. It warned that the step threatened by Tehran would have "a serious impact on the IAEA's verification and monitoring activities in the country."

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