France, Germany, and the UK have decided to scrap a plan to introduce a US-led resolution to the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) Board of Governors that would have condemned Iran for a recent deal it reached with the IAEA over nuclear inspections.
Iran recently stopped voluntarily complying with the Additional Protocol, a mechanism of the JCPOA that allows the IAEA to conduct snap inspections. But Tehran reached a deal with the IAEA to soften the blow of it not complying with the Additional Protocol that the nuclear watchdog is happy with.
But the US is not happy with the deal and was pushing its European allies to condemn it through a resolution, and Iran was threatening to scrap the agreement if the resolution succeeded. But the Europeans opted for diplomacy and chose to scrap a plan that would have done nothing but made the JCPOA even harder to revive.
A diplomatic source told The Times of Israel that the Europeans scrapped the resolution “to give time to diplomacy.” A French diplomatic source told Reuters that Iran was sending positive signals back about possible informal talks with the US.
“Things are moving in the right direction and we have had positive signals this week and especially in last few days,” the French source said. The IAEA is also happy with Iran’s decision to open talks with the nuclear watchdog over other issues related to its nuclear program.
While the news is a hopeful sign for the JCPOA, the fastest way to restore the agreement would be for the Biden administration to lift sanctions on Iran. Tehran rejected a recent offer from the EU to talk with nuclear deal participants and the US, calling on the US to lift sanctions first.
That has been Iran’s stance since the Trump administration first withdrew from the JCPOA in 2018. And with Iran still under crippling economic sanctions, Biden’s policy of maintaining the sanctions and demanding talks with Iran is no different than Trump’s failed “maximum pressure campaign.”