France, Germany, China push to revive Iran nuclear talks

PARIS (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed there is “a window of opportunity” now for talks aimed at reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, the French presidency said.

The three leaders, who spoke via videoconference on Monday, agreed on the need to move negotiations forward in order to get a deal “as soon as possible” and avoid the risk of nuclear proliferation, a French top official said. He was speaking anonymously in accordance with the presidency’s customary practices.

“We must do it now” in order to avoid further threats to regional stability, the official said, adding the message aims at giving a boost to negotiators after months of unconclusive talks.

During six rounds of talks in Vienna, the six countries that remain parties to the agreement — Russia, China, Germany, France, Britain and Iran — have been trying to resolve issues on how the United States can rejoin and how Iran can return to compliance.

Then-President Donald Trump pulled out of the agreement in 2018, but President Joe Biden repudiated his predecessor and said the U.S. wants to return to the pact.

The last round of talks ended in Vienna on June 20. It’s not yet clear when the talks will resume.

The 2015 accord is aimed at preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons, which Tehran denies it is seeking.

France and Germany said the three leaders also talked about relations between the European Union and China. They discussed international trade, climate protection and biodiversity, and cooperation in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

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AP Writer Geir Moulson in Berlin, Germany contributed to the story.

Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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