LONDON: The foreign ministers of Britain, France, Germany and the United States said on Thursday (Feb 18) they were determined that Iran should not get a nuclear weapon and they expressed concern about recent moves by Tehran.
"Regarding Iran, the E3 and the United States expressed their shared fundamental security interest in upholding the nuclear non-proliferation regime and ensuring that Iran can never develop a nuclear weapon," the ministers said in a joint statement after a virtual meeting.
It was the second time that new US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken had held discussions with his European counterparts - who form the so-called E3 group - since US President Joe Biden took office last month promising to work more closely with allies than his predecessor, Donald Trump.
The ministers "expressed their shared concerns over Iran’s recent actions to produce both uranium enriched up to 20per cent and uranium metal", the statement said.
Iran has set a deadline of next week for Biden to begin reversing sanctions imposed by Trump, or it will take the biggest step yet to breach the 2015 nuclear accord - banning short-notice inspections by the U.N. nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The E3 and the United States said in their statement that they were "united in underlining the dangerous nature of a decision to limit IAEA access, and urge Iran to consider the consequences of such grave action, particularly at this time of renewed diplomatic opportunity".
The E3 "welcomed the United States’ stated intention to return to diplomacy with Iran as well as the resumption of a confident and in-depth dialogue between the E3 and the United States".