, 23 tweets, 10 min read Read on Twitter
Sustained French diplomacy on Iran JCPoA to de-escalate
-discussed with Trump on D-Day + Jul1 call and today
-spoke to Rouhani Jun 25+Jul6
His diplo adviser Emmanuel Bonne was in Iran June 19, going back tmrw, Wednesday
+ministerial and E3 contacts
Next deadline: July 15
Noteworthy how Iranians choosing to publicize visit by Macron’s diplo adviser Bonne. Iranian journos reporting Bonne told Shamkhani he doesnt come as mediator, not carrying a message from US+that Shamkhani said Iran’s reduction of commitments irreversible. Photos from IRNA/ISNA.
French say they’re not mediators (in diplo speak it means a neutral 3rd party) they are party to JCPOA w/interests (nonproliferation+security). France attempting to broker conditions for deescalation, difficult given US, Iranian positions entrenched, playing to domestic audiences
Trump says sanctions against Iran will be “soon be increased, substantially”. So much for the French effort to broker de-escalation... #Iran #JCPOA
A way France is trying to deescalate: broker "freeze-for-freeze": Iran stops ramping up nuclear activity, US holds sanctions at this level. Difficult, hardliners on both sides playing to their base, but might also be part of public/private double game.
Iran's deputy FM @araghchi tweets positively about Emmanuel Bonne's visit, "balanced ceasefire" and "reasonable end game" => perhaps there might be room for de-escalation and Trump's tempestuous tweet didn't torpedo Bonne's visit. #JCPOA
UK says Iranian boats tried to block tanker British Heritage as it left the Gulf, HMS Montrose accompanying it trained guns on them, they retreated. IRGC says "in past 24h no encounter with foreign ships" politico.eu/article/iran-d… by @iborshoff
Recap of main #Iran, #JCPoA, diplo efforts:
1/ France to continue diplo contacts, Macron speaking w/Rouhani, Trump, Putin this week. "The dynamic we created over past few weeks... prevented the worst" he said on Jul 15, date he set to assess responses to his team's diplo efforts
2/ Macron again said his team's efforts aimed to save the deal but also open space for dialogue, that wld include the nuclear issue but also Iran's regional and ballistic activities, something he's talked about since summer 2017, and a main request of the Trump admin.
3/ What do you know? Zarif told NBC News Iran ballistic prog cld be up for negotiation, on condition U.S. sanctions lifted, and even asked U.S. halt arms sales to UAE and KSA. Upping price of course, but first time Iranians have said publicly up to discuss ballistics (PT) #Macron
4/ Macron also underlined the "new language" in the E3 statement put out Sunday: elysee.fr/emmanuel-macro…
You'll note the reference to the Joint Commission. #JCPOA #Iran
5/Mogherini downplayed Monday Iran breaches as not significant enough to trigger dispute resolution (precursor to UNSC sanctions snapback)...odd move. E3 officials say yes reversible but if Iran doesnt step back, mechanism will eventually be triggered otherwise hollows out JCPoA
6/ Khamenei, for the 1st time, vowed Iran will continue breaching the JCPoA. Question is, if Iran takes next step, restarting centrifuges, can E3 avoid triggering dispute resolution mechanism? Will Joint Commission meet before that next step happens?
7/After a short pause, esp while Macron's diplo adviser Emmanuel Bonne was in Tehran, Zarif blaming Europe again, basically saying 'show me the €'
EU"claim they’re willing to preserve JCPOA, but we haven’t yet seen their readiness to invest for preserving the deal" #Negotiating
8/ So, INSTEX? 1st transactions (still) being processed.. But! Mogherini said wld be open to 3rd parties, shareholders looking into using it to pre-order Iran oil, but that wld only be by 3rd parties (readChina, India, Japan major Iran oil importers), according to a euro official
9/ Oil is Iran's central demand, lifeline of their economy. And unless the Europeans do more, Iran will return to the situation before the JCPOA, the spokesman for Iran’s nuclear agency, Behrouz Kamalvandi, said on Monday, according to IRNA news agency. reuters.com/article/us-mid…
10/ And oil tankers and the Strait of Hormuz a valuable pressure card in Iranian hands. Reports today of lost comms with a UAE-based tanker in the Gulf, stopped transmitting after drifting into Iranian waters: apnews.com/14bcf671b33b40…
11/ Jeremy Hunt told Zarif over weekend UK wld release oil tanker seized off Gibraltar, if given assurances not destined to (EU sanctioned) Syria. Zarif said, per Iran media, it was destined to a legal Eastern mediterranean location, if anyone has any guesses where that might be.
12/ US+allies discussing providing naval escorts for oil tankers thru Gulf, General Mark Milley said Thursday. "that will be developing over the next couple weeks." Last week, we reported contributing to maritime security was 1 euro negotiating asset w/US politico.eu/article/france…
13/ Besides Trump Jul 10 tweet (while French envoy was in Tehran) +US Ambassador to EU saying Europeans shld denounce Iranian behavior in Middle East (which they are doing...) US has kept public pronouncements to a minimum. But added additional restrictions on Zarif mvts in NYC.
14/Summary: France feels diplo efforts prevented worst, Macron speaking w/Rouhani, Trump, Putin. Iran upping ante w/maximal resistance to US maximal pressure (Khamenei breaches) while also signalling opening (on ballistics, as FR been discussing) #negotiations #NuclearDeal #JCPOA
More positive signals - Trump: not seeking regime change in Iran. “They’d like to talk and we’ll see what happens” - Pompeo sitting next to him noted Iran said ready to discuss ballistic program. thehill.com/homenews/admin…
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