France, Iran Agree to Explore New Nuclear Talks by July 15

European nations urge Iran to scale back enrichment

Iran’s continued escalation of its civilian uranium enrichment, fairly transparently done as leverage to try to force the European Union members who are signatories to the P5+1 nuclear deal back to the table on sanctions relief, and seems to be working.

French President Emmanuel Macron confirmed over the weekend that he had reached an agreement with Iran’s President Rouhani to start negotiations on the conditions for a new round of nuclear talks.

Iran has been trying to get the European Union nations to agree to new sanctions relief, since the US dishonored the deal, and has so far blocked efforts by everyone else to resume trade with Iran.

So when all three nations asked Iran to scale back its civilian uranium enrichment, no one was particularly surprised. It was also clear, however, that they’re not going to get that without giving Iran something in return.

Iran’s plan to boost enrichment to 5.0% is only about getting new concessions, because Iran has no facilities to use uranium at those levels anyhow. It’s an attempt to show the EU’s inability to come to the table, and it seems successful, with France hoping to have talks by July 15.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.