Macron Sees Progress in Talks to Save JCPOA

Macron Sees Progress in Talks to Save JCPOA
Macron Sees Progress in Talks to Save JCPOA

French President Emmanuel Macron said consultations between Iranian and French experts on salvaging the 2015 nuclear deal have achieved positive results. 
"Definitely, continuing dialogue and solving problems through negotiations is a correct decision and we need to pursue this path until the desired outcome is achieved," Macron said in a phone conversation with President Hassan Rouhani on Saturday, Iran's presidential website reported. 
The nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, is at risk of breakdown since the US withdrew from it last year and reimposed sanctions on the Iranian economy. Tehran began in May to gradually reduce its commitments to the deal, but declared that the measures could be reversed once its economic woes are addressed. 
The French president has been leading efforts to save the accord, being in constant contact with his Iranian and American counterparts over the past months. 
"The failure of JCPOA will bring pleasure to many hardliners internationally," he said. 
Macron stressed the need to find a solution to meet mutual interests, saying Paris is working to remove political and economic obstacles to relations with Iran and defuse tensions in the region. 
In his meeting with Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif ahead of the recent G7 Summit, Macron proposed to either soften sanctions on Iran or provide a compensation mechanism in return for Tehran's full compliance with the pact. 
Macron said Zarif's visit to France proved Iran's adherence to the principle of dialogue to safeguard its interests. 
“Iran deemed parts of the proposal unacceptable, made alterations to it and offered its own suggestions to Macron,” Iran’s Presidential Chief of Staff Mahmoud Vaezi. 
He also said on state media, "A delegation headed by Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi is leaving for Paris on Monday, with an economic team from various sectors to discuss other aspects of the proposals," ISNA reported. 



Third Step 

Rouhani praised France's diligent efforts to keep JCPOA alive, saying Iran's approach is also focused on the accord’s preservation. 
"The full implementation of commitments by all parties to JCPOA and ensuring the safety of free shipping in all waterways, including the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, are Iran's main goals in the present negotiations," he said. 
The Persian Gulf has experienced tensions in recent months, giving rise to serious security alarm at the regional and international levels. 
Rouhani said Washington's unilateral exit from the deal was aimed at impeding Iran's relations with other countries and expressed regret over Europeans' failure to take practical steps to meet their obligations. 
"If Europeans cannot fulfill their commitments, Iran will implement the third step in reducing its JCPOA commitments which, like other phases of the plan, will be reversible," he said. 
Iran's reciprocal plan involves gradually exceeding limits set in the deal in phases of 60 days. Two stages have been implemented and the third is due in the coming days. 
"JCPOA provisions are unchangeable and all sides must be committed to its contents," Rouhani stressed.

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