Published: Fri, February 19, 2021
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West Warns of 'Nightmare' if Iran Gets Nuclear Weapons

West Warns of 'Nightmare' if Iran Gets Nuclear Weapons

Biden has said the United States wants to rejoin the pact and the State Department said Thursday the US would accept an invitation from the European Union to attend a meeting of the participants in the original agreement - Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China and Iran.

"Iran's nuclear programme is growing by the day, as the time it would take to enrich enough uranium for a single nuclear weapon shrinks", said Ali Vaez, Iran project director at the International Crisis Group (ICG).

"The E3 and the United States affirmed their shared objective of Iran's return to full compliance with its commitments under the JCPOA", the statement said. The head of the IAEA is scheduled to travel to Iran this weekend to find a solution that allows the agency to continue inspections.

The Biden administration moves represent the first significant, if small, steps toward restoring diplomacy on the 2015 Iran nuclear deal sealed during the Obama administration, in which Iran's nuclear program was restricted in exchange for sanctions relief.

Analysts say only a small window of opportunity remains to save the deal as Tehran ramps up its nuclear work in retaliation against the reimposition of sanctions that followed the U.S. walkout.

Mr Raab and his counterparts held a meeting in Paris on Thursday, in which they expressed their "shared fundamental security interest" and stressed that Iran should never develop a nuclear weapon.

The diplomatic offer also comes days ahead of a deadline Iran has set in which it has demanded the Biden administration start reversing sanctions imposed under the Trump administration, or else it would ban snap inspections by the IAEA, the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog.

However, Iran has said it will stop some of the inspections next week if the West doesn't implement its own commitments. The three European countries, known as the E3, along with the USA are signatories to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.


The U.S. also notified the United Nations that it was retracting a host of sanctions against Iran that Trump had activated.

"Remove the cause if you fear the effect", Zarif wrote on Twitter.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said earlier that Iran's recent steps were endangering the prospect of the U.S. returning to the deal, warning that Iran was "playing with fire".

"We have heard many nice words and promises which in practice have been broken and opposite actions have been taken", Khamenei said in a televised speech Wednesday.

The US unilaterally quit the JCPOA in 2018 and imposed sanctions against Tehran, prompting the latter to announce that it will gradually abandon its obligations under the deal, first of all, those regarding levels of uranium enrichment. An article in the hard-line Javan newspaper headlined "Is Biden opportunity or threat" argued that President Joe Biden's differences with the Trump administration were a campaign performance and that even members of the Rouhani administration are learning that "Biden is following Trump's actions".

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the president of the European Council spoke with Rouhani this week to try to end the diplomatic standoff.

Ellie Geranmayeh, senior policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, said Washington should use this "short window of time" to move to show Iran that the Biden administration "is distancing itself from Trump-era maximum pressure".

"All the more reason to re-invigorate trans-Atlantic diplomacy".

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