© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A view of the Natanz uranium enrichment facility 250 km (155 miles) south of the Iranian capital, Tehran.
By John Irish and Arshad Mohammed PARIS / WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The foreign ministers of the US, UK, France and Germany plan to discuss soon, possibly on Friday, how to revive the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran abandoned by the Former US President Donald Trump. Sources familiar with the matter said Thursday. Four of the sources said the virtual meeting, which will likely cover other topics, could take place on Friday, while two others said it could take place next week. They all spoke on the condition that they were not identified. Such a high-level conversation would be the latest step for the administration of US President Joe Biden to seek a way to revive the pact, under which Iran agreed to limit its nuclear activities to hinder the development of an atomic bomb in exchange for aid. US and other economic sanctions. Trump abandoned the deal in 2018, reinstating US sanctions that the deal had removed and placing more on Iran. Iran has long denied any intention to develop nuclear weapons. Biden, who took office last month, has said that if Tehran were to strictly comply with the 2015 pact again, Washington would do the same and use it as a springboard for a broader agreement that could restrict missile development and regional activities. from Iran. Tehran has insisted that Washington ease sanctions before resuming compliance, but Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Monday hinted at a way to resolve the impasse over who goes first by saying the steps could be synchronized. While the US State Department reacted coldly, a US official said its stance should not be seen as a rejection. The State Department declined to comment on whether the four foreign ministers would meet soon. British, French and German spokespersons did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Speaking to a US think tank from Paris, French President Emmanuel Macron welcomed the US willingness to involve Iran, offered himself as an “honest broker” and said that Saudi Arabia and Israel must finally participate. In 2019, he pushed for Washington and Tehran to return to the negotiating table and to set parameters for broader future talks. European and Western diplomats have said Britain, France and Germany have proposed a sequence for Iran to return to compliance in exchange for economic benefits. It is unclear whether Washington would lift the sanctions without Iran complying first. In September 2019, France proposed offering Iran a $ 15 billion credit line, which would be guaranteed by Iranian oil revenues if Tehran were to fully comply again. Such an arrangement depended on Washington giving tacit approval. “We do not start from a blank page. We know the parameters of the sequence to go back (to the agreement) and then build a deeper agreement,” said a senior European diplomat.