German Diplomat Meets Araqchi to Discuss Nuclear Deal
EghtesadOnline: Political Director of Germany’s Federal Foreign Office Jens Ploetner met Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi in Tehran on Thursday to discuss the future of Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.
The two sides reviewed the latest developments regarding the agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, and Germany's efforts to keep it alive, ISNA reported.
Araqchi stressed "the end of Iran's patience", calling attention to the duties of the remaining signatories toward JCPOA following the US withdrawal.
The multinational deal has been facing a potential breakdown since the United States pulled out and reimposed sanctions last year, Financial Tribune reported.
Concerns about its collapse rose after Iran announced a plan to gradually ease its commitments under the accord in early May in response to Washington's intensified pressure.
Tehran has already stopped its compliance with two of the obligations and vowed further reduction if the remaining parties (namely the European Union, France, Britain, Germany, Russia and China) fail to protect its rights under the deal.
In the meeting, Araqchi urged JCPOA parties to fulfill their commitments as outlined in four statements of the Joint Commission after the US exit.
World leaders have started to explore ways of salvaging the landmark accord.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron have recently discussed the situation in a joint telephone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The three leaders have reportedly underlined the need to persuade Iran to remain in the nuclear agreement, which they promised to maintain.
Window of Opportunity
A German diplomatic source had told Reuters that the preservation of the Vienna nuclear accord was at the center of Ploetner’s visit.
"After Iran’s announcement to partly suspend its commitments under the JCPOA, there is a window of opportunity for diplomacy to persuade Iran to continue to fully comply with the JCPOA," he said.
Ploetner confirmed Germany's continued faithfulness to the nuclear deal in the Thursday meeting.
"European countries will carry on their efforts and consultations to meet Iran's demands and preserve JCPOA," he said.
To protect Iran's foreign trade from the wide-ranging US sanctions, the EU has introduced a special financial mechanism known as INSTEX (Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges).
The payment channel will enable non-dollar transactions through bypassing American sanctions. It aims to facilitate Iran-EU trade in the first phase before expanding to cover third parties as well.
Nevertheless, although it has been officially registered for nearly four months, with a corresponding entity already established in Iran, INSTEX has not become operational yet, provoking the intolerance of Iranian officials who stress that Iran can no longer wait for European countermeasures.