United Nations (United States) (AFP)
The United States and the European Union expressed frustration at the UN this week over slowness with Iran, saying its new government had shown no indication it was ready to revive a nuclear deal .
“The window of opportunity is open and will not be forever,” a senior US official told reporters on Thursday after days of consultations with allies at the United Nations General Assembly.
Iran’s new ultra-conservative President Ebrahim Raisi strongly denounced the United States in a video address to the General Assembly on Tuesday, but indicated he supported a return to compliance with the 2015 agreement as a way to lift sanctions radicals imposed by former US President Donald Trump when he withdraws the United States.
But European nations said they had heard nothing concrete when they met Iran’s new foreign minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, who came to New York for the Annual General Assembly.
Trump’s successor Joe Biden again said in his own speech that he wanted to return to the deal, under which Iran significantly reduced its nuclear work. Since the United States left the agreement in 2018, Iran has withdrawn from many of its commitments.
But months of European-brokered indirect talks in Vienna have made little progress and have stalled since June, with Iran saying it needed time after the transition from a more moderate government of Hassan Rouhani.
The US official said nothing had happened in New York to make the Biden administration more optimistic.
“For now, there is certainly no indication, a positive indication, that Iran is ready to return,” he said, adding that no date had been communicated for a resumption of talks.
Iran has protested Trump’s sanctions by moving away from compliance. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said earlier this month that Iran’s nuclear work would end up making reactivating the deal unnecessary, although he did not give a timeline.
– ‘The clock is ticking’ –
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, one of five countries that have negotiated with Iran and remain in the deal, has warned that patience is dwindling.
” Hurry up. We are not going to wait two or three months for the Iranian delegation to return to the Vienna table, ”Maas told reporters.
“It has to happen faster,” he said.
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said Amir-Abdollahian told him Iran was ready to resume talks “at an early date” but gave no more time. precise.
Likewise, Iran’s foreign ministry has only said nuclear talks will resume “in the coming weeks.”
The delay has drawn particular suspicion in Israel, which views Iran’s clerical leadership as an existential threat and has waged a campaign of sabotage.
Barbara Slavin, an expert on Iran at the Atlantic Council, said Tehran ultimately had an interest in resuming talks in the name of economically expensive sanctions relief.
“They take their time,” Slavin said.
“I still think they have to come back to the talks. I think they need it, ”she added.
© 2021 AFP