US and France to strengthen nuclear accords with Iran News
US and France to strengthen nuclear accords with Iran

[JURIST] The US and France agreed on Saturday to strengthen nuclear talks with Iran in negotiations to persuade Iran to restrain its nuclear program in exchange for relief from sanctions. Secretary of State John Kerry [official website] explained [Reuters report] that there are still gaps in the agreement they would like to address with Iran. Iranian Vice President Ali Akbar Salehi said he believes technicalities which had been hindering the discussion have been eliminated [AP report], clearing the way for a deal. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius [official profile] said the countries still need to work toward agreeing on the volume Iran would be allowed to operate, as well as implementing a system to check and verify compliance of the deal. Britain, China, Germany and Russia are also involved in the nuclear talks. The western nations have set a self-imposed deadline for a preliminary deal by the end of March and a final deal by the end of June.

The Iranian government has been sanctioned several times in recent years due to its nuclear program. In February, the UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) [official website] condemned [JURIST report] Iran for violating its duties under the Joint Plan of Action (JPOA), whereby Iran has agreed to expand its nuclear program peacefully. Iranian leaders have repeatedly claimed that the developing nuclear program is for peaceful purposes [JURIST report], but the international community, Israel in particular [JURIST op-ed], worries that Iran’s enrichment program was designed for military purposes. In October the General Court temporarily removed sanctions [Times of Israel report] against Iran’s main oil tanker firm NITC.