German, French FMs discuss JCPOA preservation as Iran moves to limit nuclear inspections

German Foreign Minister Heiko Mass has exchanged views with his French counterpart, Jean-Yves Le Drian, on ways to preserve the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and major world states as the deadline set by Iran for the removal of unilateral US sanctions draws near.

In a post on its Twitter account on Monday, the German Foreign Office said the two top diplomats held a “trustful discussion” over phone about a range of issue, among them the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Trustful discussion 📞 between @HeikoMaas and 🇫🇷 counterpart @JY_LeDrian on current issues before the #FAC next Monday including on #Nawalny, the #Covid19 situation in Europe, preservation of the #JCPoA and next steps in the Middle East peace process #MEPP.

— GermanForeignOffice (@GermanyDiplo) February 15, 2021

On Sunday, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said that he had discussed “the nuclear issue around Iran” with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

The developments come ahead of February 21, when Iran, under a legislation passed last December by the Parliament (Majlis), is set to end the voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty’s Safeguards Agreements unless the US lifts illegal sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

The Additional Protocol allows snap visits by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) of Iran’s nuclear facilities.

However, the Iranian law, dubbed the Strategic Action Plan to Counter Sanctions, requires the government to limit IAEA inspections to declared sites only and revoke its short-notice access to any location seen as relevant for information-gathering, unless other parties to the JCPOA fully comply with the accord.