The Latest: France says open to talks with Iran to save deal
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — The Latest on tensions in the Persian Gulf (all times local):
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has said that dialogue with Iran remains open despite the country’s decision to further back away from its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal.
Speaking on Europe 1 radio Sunday, Le Drian said Iran’s “disengagement” from the deal’s terms was causing tensions, but added “the channels of dialogue remain open.”
Iran says it has begun using advanced centrifuges to enrich uranium in violation of the nuclear deal, warning that Europe has little time left to offer new terms to save the accord.
It signals a further cut into the one year experts estimate Tehran would need to have a enough material for building a nuclear weapon if it chose to pursue one. Iran maintains its program is peaceful.
The head of Iran’s nuclear program says the European Union has failed to honor its commitments under Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers, following the U.S. withdrawal from the 2015 accord over a year ago.
The Sunday remarks by Ali Akbar Salehi came after a meeting with the visiting acting chief of the U.N. atomic watchdog Cornel Feruta in Tehran.
Salehi said the EU “was supposed to fill the vacuum” in enforcing the deal, but “unfortunately they could not.”
The visit by Feruta came a day after Iran announced it would begin using advanced centrifuges prohibited by the deal.
Iran is trying to pressure Europe to deliver on its promise of economic relief, despite U.S. sanctions.
Feruta will also meet with Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister.
The acting director-general of the United Nations nuclear watchdog is in Tehran for meetings after Iran announced it would begin using advanced centrifuges prohibited by its 2015 atomic deal with world powers.
Iranian state television aired Sunday video of Cornel Feruta in the capital, Tehran.
Feruta is to meet Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s Foreign Minister, and Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran.
Iran on Saturday announced it would begin using two types of advanced centrifuges.
Iran already has crept past limits the deal imposed on nuclear enrichment and its uranium stockpile. It is trying to pressure Europe to offer a way to sell crude oil abroad despite U.S. sanctions.
The U.S. pulled out of the nuclear deal over a year ago, raising tensions.