US, E3 allies respond to Iran provocations with studied calm
WASHINGTON/PARIS (US/FRANCE) – A week after the US offered to hold talks with Iran about reviving the nuclear deal struck in 2015, Tehran has curbed UN monitoring, threatened to enhance uranium enrichment and its alleged proxies have twice targeted Iraqi bases with US troops.
On the other hand, the US and its allies – Britain, France and Germany – have reacted with a studied calm.
This is seen as a desire not to disrupt the diplomatic overtures in the hope that Iran will return to the negotiating table.
Iran has stressed many times that the US should first ease sanctions imposed after former President Donald Trump abandoned the pact in 2018. It would then wind down its own violations of the deal.
“However much they believe the U.S. should lift sanctions first, that’s not going to happen,” said a US official.
The official said if Tehran wants Washington to resume compliance with the pact, “the best way and the only way is to get to the table where those things will be discussed”.
According to two European diplomats, the US or E3 – Britain, France and Germany- are not expected to do more to pressure Iran for the time being.
One of them said the present policy was to condemn and to refrain from doing anything that would seal off all diplomatic channels.
“We have to tread carefully,” said the diplomat. “We have to see whether the E3 can juggle Iran’s headlong rush and the US hesitance to see whether we even have a path forward.”
The “headlong rush” was a reference to Iran’s accelerating violations of the agreement.