NEW YORK -- Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi and his delegation have held meetings with French President Emmanuel Macron and other top European leaders as a deadlock over the U.S. return to compliance with the 2015 nuclear agreement remains in place.
Raisi, accompanied by Foreign Minister Hussein Amir-Abdollahian and top nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani, also sat down with European Council President Charles Michel, and the bloc’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell and his deputy Enrique Mora, who act as coordinators of the talks that began in April 2021.
Bagheri and Mora then held separate talks that are thought to be predominantly focused on stalled efforts to restore the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as the nuclear deal that the United States unilaterally abandoned in 2018 is formally known.
According to Raisi’s website, the Iranian president emphasized a major demand to his French counterpart that an inquiry by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) into several Iranian nuclear sites revolving around nuclear particles to which Iran has provided answer before must be concluded for any agreement.
“The agency’s approach towards technical issues must be away from pressures by others, and we believe that achieving an agreement will not be possible without closing Iran’s cases,” Raisi told Macron.
Raisi also said, “Europe must show in action that its policies are separate from those of the U.S. and does not follow the wishes and policies of the U.S.”
Macron reportedly offered proposals to advance the talks. “Iran and the agency are able to resolve existing cases and we won’t exert political pressure on the agency on this issue,” the French president was quoted as saying on Raisi’s website.
Speaking to Michel, Raisi asked, “If safeguards issues are not resolved, what guarantee is there that the three European countries won’t again propose and pursue a resolution against the Islamic Republic of Iran the day after an agreement?”
The E3 – France, Germany and the United Kingdom – and the United States introduced a resolution censuring Iran in June, which led to Iran dismantling dozens of agency’s cameras at its nuclear sites.
The Western allies also read out a statement at the IAEA board last week, which accused Iran of lack of cooperation with the agency.
In his talks with Macron, President Raisi noted that the IAEA’s dual approach to the destructive nuclear activities of the occupying regime of Israel is a sign of the “politicization” of matters.