Iran – ministerial meeting of the Joint Commission of the JCPOA - Q&A from the press briefing (23 December 2020)


Q: What is your response to the Iranian Foreign Minister’s accusations against the E3, and to the Iranian press, which believes Iran has made Europe back down? Is that in line with your assessment of the latest ministerial meeting on the JCPOA? What are the priorities of France and the E3?

A: Since 2003 the E3 – namely France, Germany and the United Kingdom – have played a central role in the diplomatic process embarked on to find a solution to the Iran nuclear proliferation crisis. They have always shouldered their responsibilities in the face of this crisis, which has major regional and international implications. Like its E3 partners, France firmly rejects Iran’s unfounded accusations against the E3. Since the first day the agreement was implemented, the E3 have honoured all their commitments and, since the United States’ withdrawal in 2018, have spared no efforts to enable Iran to enjoy the economic dividends of the agreement.

The participants in the Joint Commission of 21 December noted President-elect Biden’s statements about his desire to revise the approach and measures of the current American administration. At the beginning of next year a window of opportunity will open to work on the return of the United States to the agreement and of Iran to full and total compliance with its nuclear commitments. The Joint Commission has shown that the participants in the JCPOA have the desire to seize this opportunity together.

This is especially necessary because, due to Iran’s actions, we have returned to an emergency situation on the nuclear front, which would only deteriorate if the measures demanded by the Iranian Parliament in the act of 2 December were implemented. These actions risk jeopardizing our shared efforts to protect the JCPOA and the opportunity of a return to diplomacy represented by the arrival of the new American administration. Everyone would lose out from this, including Iran, because a return to the JCPOA would also have benefits for that country.

At the 21 December ministerial meeting M. Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, emphasized the desire of France and its E3 partners to work for a negotiated solution, and our three priorities for achieving this: to end Iran’s serious nuclear violations, some of which are having irreversible consequences in terms of proliferation; to secure the return of the United States and Iran to full implemenation of the agreement, without preconditions; and to find a negotiated path to address broader concerns regarding Iran, in particular lasting guarantees about the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s post-2025 nuclear programme, its missile programme and its destabilizing regional activities in the long term.