US, European allies warn of Iran’s ‘provocative’ nuke steps

Oct 29, 2021, 9:57 PM | Updated: Oct 31, 2021, 11:49 am
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Me...

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and U.S. President Joe Biden, from left, pose for the media prior to a meeting at the La Nuvola conference center for the G20 summit in Rome, Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021. The two-day Group of 20 summit is the first in-person gathering of leaders of the world's biggest economies since the COVID-19 pandemic started. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, Pool)

(AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, Pool)

ROME (AP) — President Joe Biden said Saturday that nuclear talks with Iran would resume as he and European leaders warned Tehran that “accelerated” and “provocative nuclear steps” it has taken will jeopardize its return to compliance under a 2015 nuclear agreement.

Biden and the leaders of Germany, France and Britain met as Iran continues to enrich uranium to near-weapons-grade levels. The leaders are trying to revive the 2015 deal and restore Iran’s program to where it was under the pact, which kept the Islamic republic at least one year away from the potential to field a nuclear weapon.

In a joint statement issued after the meeting, Biden, Germany’s Angela Merkel, France’s Emmanuel Macron and Britain’s Boris Johnson “expressed our determination to ensure that Iran can never develop or acquire a nuclear weapon.”

The leaders shared “our grave and growing concern” that Iran “has accelerated the pace of provocative nuclear steps” after it halted negotiations on a return to the nuclear agreement, formally known as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

They also warned that Iran’s nuclear developments and restrictions on international monitoring by the International Atomic Energy Agency “will jeopardize the possibility of a return to” the deal.

As the leaders posed for photos before the closed-door talks, Biden was asked when he would like the stalled negotiations with Iran to resume.

“They’re scheduled to resume,” he said, in what appeared to be the first public confirmation by the U.S. of a resumption in negotiations.

Iran has yet to commit to a date to return to nuclear talks being held in Vienna but has signaled it will do so next week with a target of late November for resuming the negotiations. The U.S. and others have expressed skepticism about Iranian intentions.

The U.N.’s atomic watchdog has said Iran is increasingly in violation of the nuclear deal, which President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from. The U.S. has participated indirectly in talks aimed at bringing both Washington and Tehran back into compliance. Those talks in Vienna have been on hiatus since June, when Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi took power.

Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China and the European Union remain part of the deal.

“We call upon President Raisi to seize this opportunity and return to a good faith effort to conclude our negotiations as a matter of urgency,” the leaders said in their communique. “That is the only sure way to avoid a dangerous escalation, which is not in any country’s interest.”

The four leaders met Saturday’ while in Rome for the Group of 20 summit, the first stop on Biden’s five-day foreign trip. He’s also attending a U.N. climate conference in Scotland.

Biden was welcomed to the summit site by Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi and joined his counterparts for the customary “family photo'” before he went to the opening plenary session on the COVID-19 pandemic and economic recovery.

Saturday’s meeting came several days after Ali Bagheri, Iran’s deputy foreign minister and chief negotiator for the talks, tweeted that Iran has agreed to restart negotiations by the end of November. Bagheri said a date to resume talks would be announced soon.

U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Thursday that the U.S. was still trying to determine whether Iran was serious about returning to the negotiations.

“We have heard positive signals that they are, but I think we have to wait and see when and whether they actually show up at the negotiating table,” he told reporters Thursday aboard Air Force One as Biden flew to Rome.

Sullivan said the leaders would send “clear messages” to Iran that the window for negotiation “is not unlimited.”

“We, of course, retain all other options to be able to deal with this program as necessary,” he said.

Saturday’s meeting came after American officials blamed Iran for a drone attack on a remote U.S. outpost in Syria. Officials said Monday the U.S. believes Iran resourced and encouraged the attack, but that the drones were not launched from Iran.

No deaths or injuries were reported as a result of the attack.

In retaliation, the U.S. Treasury Department on Friday announced new penalties against two senior members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps and two affiliated companies for supplying lethal drones and related material to insurgent groups in Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen and Ethiopia.

At the summit, Biden pushed for progress toward his goal of establishing a global 15% corporate minimum tax, the White House said, even as his domestic effort to raise the business rate to that figure was stuck in limbo in Washington.

He also was expected to discuss measures to ease a global energy supply crunch that has fueled rising prices, imperiling the global economic recovery. On Sunday, Biden planned to host an event on strengthening supply chains around the world as factories and ports have struggled to deliver goods because of the pandemic.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

This image released by Bleecker Street shows Freida Pinto, left, and Zawe Ashton in a scene from "M...
Associated Press

‘Minions’ set box office on fire with $108.5 million debut

Families went bananas for Minions this weekend at the movie theater. ” Minions: The Rise of Gru ” brought in an estimated $108.5 million in ticket sales from 4,391 screens in North America, Universal Pictures said Sunday. By the end of the Monday’s July Fourth holiday, it will likely have earned over $127.9 million. The […]
20 hours ago
FILE - Argentina's Economy Minister Martin Guzman walks outside of the International Monetary Fund,...
Associated Press

Argentina has new economy minister after abrupt resignation

BUENOS AIRES (AP) — Argentina got a new economy minister late Sunday, a day after the abrupt resignation of her predecessor shook the governing coalition at a time it was already facinga crisis of unity. Gabriela Cerruti, the presidency’s spokesperson, wrote on Twitter late Sunday that Silvina Batakis will now head the Economy Ministry, replacing […]
20 hours ago
FILE - More than 100 opponents of the Republican redistricting plans vow to fight the maps at a ral...
Associated Press

Abortion ruling puts spotlight on gerrymandered legislatures

In overturning a half-century of nationwide legal protection for abortion, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Roe v. Wade had been wrongly decided and that it was time to “return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives” in the states. Whether those elected officials are truly representative of the people is a matter […]
20 hours ago
People salute the casket of Hershel "Woody" Williams set up in the first floor rotunda of the West ...
Associated Press

WWII Medal of Honor recipient to lie in honor at US Capitol

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hershel W. “Woody” Williams, the last remaining Medal of Honor recipient from World War II, will lie in honor at the U.S. Capitol, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Sunday. A date and other details will be announced later, Pelosi and Schumer said in a joint statement. […]
20 hours ago
Associated Press

West Africa leaders lift sanctions on 2 junta-led neighbors

ACCRA, Ghana (AP) — West African leaders attending a regional summit agreed Sunday to lift sanctions on two neighbors led by military governments that are now promising a return to democratic rule. The summit of the Economic Community of West African States resolved to lift all economic and financial sanctions imposed on Mali and Burkina […]
20 hours ago
People evacuated from the Field's shopping center gather outside,  in Orestad, Copenhagen, Denmark,...
Associated Press

Several dead in Copenhagen mall shooting; suspect arrested

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — A gunman opened fired inside a busy shopping mall in the Danish capital on Sunday, killing several people and wounding several others, police said. A 22-year-old Danish man was arrested after the shooting, Copenhagen police inspector Søren Thomassen told reporters, adding there was no indication that anyone else was involved, though […]
20 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
CANVAS ANNUITY

Best retirement savings rates hit 4.30%

Maximize your retirement savings with guaranteed fixed rates up to 4.30%. Did you know there is a financial product that can give you great interest rates as you build your retirement savings and provide you with a paycheck for life once you retire? It might sound too good to be true but it is not; this product is called an annuity.
...
Day & Night Air

Tips to lower your energy bill in the Arizona heat

Does your summer electric bill make you groan? Are you looking for effective ways to reduce your bill?
...
Arizona Division of Problem Gambling

Arizona Division of Problem Gambling provides exclusion solution for young sports bettors

Sports betting in Arizona opened a new world to young adults, one where putting down money on games was as easy as sending a text message.
US, European allies warn of Iran’s ‘provocative’ nuke steps