French foreign minister urges Iran: Accept nuclear deal

USA. NATIONS – France’s foreign minister on Monday urged Iran to make a final offer to reinstate a 2015 nuclear deal with the United States and key powers aimed at reining in its nuclear program. The window of opportunity, she said, is “closer to closing”.

During a wide-ranging press conference on the sidelines of this week’s meeting of world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly, Catherine Colonna said the window had opened a bit in late August, but Iran had “become back” against” with other matters relating to the obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which are considered the foundation of nuclear disarmament.

She did not give details. But under the terms of the treaty, the original five nuclear powers – the United States, China, Russia (later the Soviet Union), Great Britain and France – agreed to negotiate to eliminate their arsenals by the end of the year. someday. Countries that do not have nuclear weapons promise not to buy them in exchange for assurances that they can develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

In 2018, then-President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of a deal with five nuclear powers and Germany, raising tensions across the Middle East and sparking a series of attacks and incidents. The administration of President Joe Biden is working to renew an agreement that limits Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for billions of dollars in sanctions relief that Iran insists never received.

Referring to the other six parties to the nuclear deal, Colonna said: “We have said many times, each of us, sometimes together like last week, that there would be no better offer for Iran, and that real action is taking place. Iran to make its decision. “

On another nuclear issue, Colonna said France would convene a meeting on Wednesday with UN Nuclear Chief Rafael Grossi on the precarious state of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in southeastern Ukraine. , the largest factory in Europe, occupied by Russia but still operated by Ukraine.

There has been shelling on and around the plant, and Colonna said she spoke with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Monday morning about the need for Ukraine, Russia and all countries of the world to “avoid a nuclear disaster”.

She said Foreign Minister Lavrov seemed “ready to listen to some detailed proposals” by Grossi, who called for a “nuclear safety and security protection zone” around the Zaporizhzhia plant.

Colonna accused Russia of attacking UN organizations by waging an unjust war against Ukraine “in a very brutal way” with shelling of civilian targets, acts of violence. , “rape, torture and forced liquidation”.

“All of these are war crimes,” she said.

The French minister said Russia is crossing three thresholds in the war: the legal threshold for violating the rules of relations between states in the United Nations Charter that call for the peaceful resolution of disputes; moral threshold “according to the extent of the crimes committed in Ukraine”; and political thresholds due to destabilizing global food and energy security.

Colonna also called on China to stop its “very aggressive” behavior towards Taiwan. She stressed that “China’s status quo must not be questioned and non-peaceful means must not be used”. Her comments came after Biden’s statement broadcast Sunday on CBS News’ “60 Minutes” channel that US forces would defend Taiwan if Beijing tried to invade.

The Chinese government on Monday rejected the US President’s remarks, saying it violated the US pledge not to support formal independence for Taiwan, a step Beijing said would lead to war. Biden’s comments add to the official US support for democracy on the island in the face of a growing show of force by the ruling Communist Party on the mainland, which declares Taiwan a part of its territory.

Edith M. Lederer is the AP’s chief UN correspondent and has covered international affairs for more than half a century. For more information on the AP about the UN General Assembly, visit

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