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U.S. To Discuss Iran Nuclear Deal With France, Britain, Germany

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will hold talks on Iran with top diplomats from Germany, France, and Britain.

The top diplomats from the United States, Germany, France, and Britain will hold talks on February 18 to discuss the future of the landmark 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, which Washington pulled out of in 2018.

The deal signed by Tehran with the four Western powers, along with China and Russia, called for curbs on Iran’s uranium-enrichment program in return for the lifting of sanctions.

However, President Donald Trump in May 2018 pulled his country out of the accord and reimposed crippling sanctions on Iran, saying the terms were not strict enough to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

Iran has always denied seeking to develop nuclear weapons, saying its nuclear program is strictly for civilian purposes.

Trump also said Iran had violated the spirit of the accord by financing extremist activity in the region, an allegation Tehran has denied.

The other signees have been attempting to save the accord. Since the U.S. pullout, Tehran has increasingly breached limits it had agreed to under the deal.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab are scheduled to meet France’s Jean-Yves Le Drian for talks in Paris. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will take part through a video link.

U.S. President Joe Biden has indicated more willingness to deal with Iran than his predecessor did, but he has publicly stated that Iran must adhere to its commitment under the 2015 deal before his administration will discuss the possibility of lifting sanctions.

Blinken said last month he wants to coordinate with U.S. allies to achieve a "longer and stronger agreement" with Tehran.

Based on reporting by dpa and Reuters