US State Department spokesman Ned Price said Wednesday that the United States and its allies called on Iran to back down and desist from any steps that would affect its pledges to the International Atomic Energy Agency, at a time when Tehran said it would start banning short-term inspection notifications
In a press briefing, Price added that US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken will discuss the Iran file Thursday in a meeting with his British, French and German counterparts.
The State Department spokesman confirmed that “The diplomatic path is still on the table with Iran.”
This comes while the International Atomic Energy Agency said on Wednesday that its Director General, Rafael Grossi, will visit Iran next Saturday in an attempt to find a “mutually acceptable solution” that allows it to continue inspections in the country. The agency added that Grossi would hold talks with senior Iranian officials, whom it did not specify.
It explained that the goal is “to find a mutually acceptable solution for the IAEA to continue its basic verification activities in the country.”
Grossi’s visit comes amid diplomatic efforts to salvage the 2015 agreement between Iran and world powers, which has begun to fade since the withdrawal of former US President Donald Trump from it in 2018.
Tehran is exploiting its violations of the agreement to put pressure on the remaining signatories – France, Germany, Britain, Russia and China – to provide Iran with more incentives to compensate for the US sanctions that were re-imposed after the US withdrawal.
In another context, German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed, in a phone call with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, “concern Regarding the future of the nuclear agreement in light of Tehran’s retreat from a number of its obligations within it, according to a spokesman for it.
And Stephen Seibert said in a statement that Merkel expressed her concern about Iran’s continued failure to fulfill its obligations under it. The nuclear agreement, “adding,” It is time for positive gestures that raise confidence and increase the chances of a diplomatic solution. “
The rare contact between the German chancellor and the Iranian president comes on the eve of what are expected to be arduous talks between Germany, France, Britain and the United States about how to salvage the agreement aimed at containing the Iranian nuclear program.
It is scheduled to host the French Foreign Minister Jean Yves Le Drian via the video, with his German counterparts Heiko Maas, the British Dominic Raab and the American Anthony Blinken to discuss the file, according to what the French Foreign Ministry announced. Iran is to fully comply with all of its provisions.
The West fears the violations that are recorded in the agreement, which mean that Iran is rapidly moving towards achieving a “breakthrough” by possessing the capabilities of building a nuclear bomb.