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Nuclear deal with Iran will soon become ’empty shell’ – European diplomats

FILE PHOTO: The Iranian flag waved in front of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headquarters in Vienna
FILE PHOTO: The Iranian flag waves in front of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headquarters in Vienna, Austria May 23, 2021. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger/

December 13, 2021

By Francois Murphy

VIENNA (Reuters) – Powers Britain and Iran are yet to get down to business at talks to save the 2015 nuclear deal, senior diplomats from Britain, France and Germany said. will soon become an “empty shell” if there is no progress, senior diplomats from Britain, France and Germany said on Monday.

Diplomats from the so-called E3 said in a statement about the nuclear talks in Vienna that they were negotiating between US and Iranian officials.

“Time is running out. Without rapid progress, given that Iran is rapidly transitioning its nuclear program, the JCPOA will very quickly become an empty shell,” they added, referring to the agreement, which has its full name. enough is the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

The statement offered a pessimistic assessment of efforts to restore the deal under which Iran limited its nuclear program in return for relief from economic sanctions by the United States, the European Union and the European Union. United Nations.

Then-Republican President Donald Trump pulled the US out of the accord in 2018 and reimposed US sanctions, prompting Iran to begin breaching its nuclear restrictions in 2019.

His successor, Democrat Joe Biden, sought to return to compliance with the agreement through indirect negotiations with Iran, in which officials from other parties to the agreement shuttled them because Tehran refused to meet US officials in person.

The other countries in the agreement are the UK, China, France, Germany and Russia.

Diplomats said they had made significant progress in six rounds of talks between April and June, when the five-month talks were interrupted following the election of hard-line cleric Ebrahim Raisi as Iran’s president. .

In the seventh round, which began on November 29, Iran renounced any compromises it had made on the previous six occasions, pocketing the deals of others and demanding more, an official US senior said.

“We are losing precious time addressing new Iranian positions that are inconsistent with the JCPoA or beyond that provision,” the E3 diplomats said in their statement.

It added: “This is upsetting because of the outline of a comprehensive and fair deal that removes all sanctions related to the JCPoA, while also addressing nonproliferation concerns. nuclear – and has been since last summer.”

(Reporting by Francois Murphy; Writing by Francois Murphy and Arshad Mohammed; Editing by Mark Porter and Jonathan Oatis)

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DUSTIN JONES

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