French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna said on Tuesday that the window of opportunity for Iran to agree to the conditions of the Obama-era Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, better known as the Iran Nuclear Deal or JCPOA, is narrowing.
Addressing French parliamentarians, Colonna said that the window will “close in a few weeks,” potentially bringing to an end the 2015 deal that still remains in place in several European countries.
U.S. President Donald Trump famously scrapped the deal in 2018.
“There is still a window of opportunity for Iran to finally decide to accept an accord which it worked to build, but time is passing,” the French minister said. “Time is passing. Tehran must realize this.”
Colonna also warned that the upcoming midterm elections in November could make it even harder to make a deal with Iran, as Democrats look set to lose control of at least one chamber of Congress.
Stressing that there are only weeks until the deal can be made, Colonna also said that there will “not be a better accord to the one which is on the table.”
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Last week, Tehran said that the government seeks to establish a strong and lasting nuclear agreement with all world powers. Comments from Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian came after a meeting with U.S. ally Qatar.
“We are determined to seek a good, strong and lasting accord, and despite American claims … we have not raised any demands outside of the nuclear deal,” the Iranian foreign minister said in a joint press conference with Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed in Tehran.
The Qatari foreign minister had just discussed the topic with Iranian officials. The meeting also came one week after Tehran negotiated with European Union officials as part of the ongoing indirect U.S.-Iran talks on the nuclear deal.
According to a senior U.S. official, who conferred with Reuters about the recent meetings on the condition of anonymity, the talks actually made the chances of making a deal worse.
“The prospects for a deal after Doha are worse than they were before Doha and they will be getting worse by the day,” the official said.
“You could describe Doha at best as treading water, at worst as moving backwards. But at this point treading water is for all practical purposes moving backwards.”
Tehran has repeatedly insisted that a deal with the United States would require the White House to drop Trump-era sanctions placed on the country. The move would be a significant backdown for President Joe Biden and the White House, and would also give Iran a significant economic boost.
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.