Iran nuclear talks set to resume Thursday, but France discouraged – .

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Iran nuclear talks set to resume Thursday, but France discouraged – .


DOHA, Dec. 7 (Reuters) – Talks to relaunch the 2015 Iran nuclear deal are expected to resume on Thursday, the French foreign minister said, while adding he was not encouraged and feared that Iran is wasting time.

“The elements (…) are not very encouraging,” French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told a French parliamentary committee, referring to the seventh round of nuclear talks between Iran and the great powers which has started on November 29 and ended on Friday.

“We have the feeling that the Iranians want to make it last and the longer the talks last, the more they renege on their commitments (…) and come closer to the ability to obtain nuclear weapons,” said Le Drian.

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As part of the 2015 agreement between Tehran and six major powers, Iran limited its nuclear program in exchange for easing sanctions from the United States, the European Union and the United Nations.

Then-President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the deal in 2018 and reimposed tough US sanctions, and Iran began violating nuclear restrictions a year later.

Le Drian said he expected talks to resume on Thursday, echoing reports from Iranian media. A senior US State Department official said Washington does not yet have a confirmed date.

The indirect US-Iran talks in Vienna, in which diplomats from other countries shuttle between them because Tehran refuses direct talks with Washington, aim to get the two sides to resume respect for the agreement.

However, last week’s talks were halted with European and American officials expressing dismay at the sweeping demands of the radical new Iranian government led by anti-Western President Ebrahim Raisi, whose June election caused a hiatus. five months into the talks.

A senior US official said on Saturday that Iran had abandoned all the compromises it had made in the previous six rounds of talks, pocketed those made by others and demanded more last week.

Speaking on Monday, Central Intelligence Agency director Bill Burns said the agency did not believe Iran’s supreme leader had decided to take action to “militarize” a nuclear device, but noted that he had made progress in his ability to enrich uranium, a route to the fissile. material for a bomb.

Iran denies seeking nuclear weapons, saying it only wants to harness nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

“We don’t see any evidence as an agency at this time that Iran’s supreme leader has made the decision to switch to arms,” ​​Burns said at the Wall Street Journal CEO Council summit.

Burns described Iran’s challenge as “a three-legged race” to obtain fissile material, to “arm” them by placing this material in a device designed to cause a nuclear explosion and to couple it to a launch system. such as a ballistic missile.

On militarization, Burns said that “the Iranians still have a lot of work to do there as far as we see fit.”

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Reporting by John Irish; Additional reporting by Idrees Ali and Simon Lewis in Washington and the Dubai Newsroom; Writing of Arshad Mohammed; Editing by Rosalba O’Brien

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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