US, European allies sound a pessimistic note as Iran nuclear talks break in Vienna

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“Iran is not yet serious about doing what is necessary to return to compliance with the 2015 accord,” Foreign Minister Antony Blinken said on Friday, which is why we ended this round of talks in Vienna.

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Representatives of the United States – which abandoned the accord under the Trump administration – and the remaining parties to the agreement gathered in the Austrian capital for a seventh round of talks aimed at salvaging the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The Biden administration pushed for renewed talks aimed at returning both Washington and Tehran to compliance, but after six rounds of talks with Iran and other parties – the European Union, France, Germany, Russia and China – Iran requested a gap during the conduct of the elections. The truce lasted six months until talks resumed on Monday, with a new, hardline Iranian government that continues to develop Iran’s nuclear capability in violation of the deal.

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“The first six rounds of talks made progress, finding constructive negotiating solutions to many difficult issues that were difficult for all parties,” a State Department spokesman said. “Unfortunately, Iran’s approach this week was not to attempt to resolve the remaining issues.”

The spokesman said that US Special Envoy for Iran Rob Malle and his team are on their way back to Washington, DC.

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Senior European diplomats said Tehran is calling for almost all the tough agreements and major changes drawn up after months of hard work in the last round of talks. “After a thorough investigation, we are disappointed and concerned about changes to the lessons suggested by Iran, which were negotiated during the last six rounds of talks in Vienna,” he told reporters.

European diplomats said negotiators would return to their capitals to assess the situation and seek instructions on whether the gap could be closed before meeting again next week. “Our governments are fully committed to proceed diplomatically. But time is running out,” he said.

Blinken said on Friday that “Russia and China are also clearly disappointed with what Iran is doing or not doing in these talks.”

“We are going to consult very closely and carefully with all of our partners in this process – the European countries as well as Russia and China – but also with other very related countries, with the Gulf countries with Israel, and we Will see if Iran has any interest in getting seriously involved, but the window is very, very tight,” he said at a Reuters event.

European diplomats noted that since Iran has hindered talks, it has “fast forward its nuclear program. This week, it has backtracked on diplomatic progress.” He said based on the Iranian draft it was not clear how the gap between the two sides could be closed.

The Iran nuclear deal originally committed the US and its allies to ease sanctions on Iran in exchange for sanctions on its nuclear program. After former President Donald Trump pulled the US out of the deal in May 2018, the US intensified sanctions, and nearly a year later, Iran began to withdraw from the deal, restarting its nuclear program.

The top US diplomat called Trump’s decision to leave the deal “a disastrous mistake” because Tehran “removed its commitments under the deal and used it as an excuse to rebuild the nuclear program, despite maximum pressure against Iran.” that the accord had put in a box” – a stance that even Israeli leaders have publicly taken.

‘is not acceptable’

He said that despite talks resuming this week, Iran made new nuclear developments. Tehran has ignored calls to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Association. The IAEA reported on Wednesday that Iran had begun producing up to 20% enriched uranium using advanced centrifuges at its Fordow site and had turned down calls to allow the IAEA access to its Karaj nuclear site.

“What is not acceptable, and what we will not allow, is that Iran tries to drag on this process and continues to build on its program,” Blinken said.

“Iran has to make some very important decisions in the coming days,” he said. “We’re either going to get back into compliance with the agreement, or we’ll have to look at tackling this problem in other ways.”

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Credit : www.cnn.com

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