The first official talks between Western powers and the new Iranian regime on how to reinstate the 2015 nuclear deal were suspended on Friday, with Europe warning that Iran had backed down on all previous diplomatic progress and accelerated its nuclear program. .
It now seems possible that talks will collapse next week if Iran does not change its demands, potentially risking an attack on Iran by Israel.
EU chief negotiator Enrique Mora said talks would resume next week, but warned time was not unlimited.
Diplomats representing the three European powers at the talks – Britain, France and Germany – have expressed disappointment and concern at the stalemate.
They warned: “Tehran is going back on almost all the difficult compromises worked out after many months of hard work”, adding that major changes were required. “More than five months ago Iran halted negotiations. Since then, Iran has stepped up its nuclear program. This week, he reviewed the diplomatic progress made.
They added that “it is not clear how these new gaps can be filled in a realistic time frame on the basis of Iranian plans. We have asked the coordinator to meet again shortly.
They said the purpose of the suspension was to “allow delegations to return to capitals to assess the situation and seek instructions”, before meeting again next week “to see if the gaps can be closed or not. “.
The statement added: “Our governments remain fully engaged in a diplomatic channel. But time is running out. “
Iran’s new government, elected in June, has tabled revised documents on the sanctions the United States would be required to lift, as well as new proposals on what Iran would be required to do to fully comply with the deal. . A third document on benchmarks, including the levels of oil exports and foreign exchange transactions that should be met before Iran deems sanctions have been effectively lifted, has been released but has not been released. not officially filed.
EU diplomats said the proposals forced the US to lift some sanctions imposed by Joe Biden that were clearly unrelated to the nuclear deal, and therefore represented a tightening of Iranian demands agreed in the previous six. rounds of talks with the previous group of Iranian negotiators.
The West is expected to resume talks next Wednesday, but has the option of sending Iran back to the UN Security Council for violating its obligations under the 2015 accord. Iran may well responds to such a reference by withdrawing from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and refuses to accede to it unless Israel is compelled to adhere to it.
Iran admitted that progress was slow, adding that its proposals could not be rejected because they were in line with the 2015 agreement.
Israel, which did not participate in the talks, said its Western allies must realize that Iran is stagnant as it continues to expand its nuclear program.
Relentless efforts to reopen talks on how the IAEA, the United Nations nuclear inspectorate, could come to an agreement on the operations of its cameras at nuclear sites have also made little progress, adding to the feeling of gloom .
The Vienna talks are taking place between Iran, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany. An American negotiating team is in Vienna but is not allowed to join the talks by Iran, on the grounds that Donald Trump left the deal in 2018.
Bagheri said: “We are negotiating a comprehensive agreement. We are negotiating a comprehensive agreement that will pave the way for the return of a country that left the agreement. We call for the lifting of illegal and unfair US sanctions. “
Mohammed Morandi, described as a member of the Iranian negotiating team but effectively acting as a spokesperson for the Western media, accused Biden of criticizing Trump’s policy of maximum pressure against Iran, but pursuing the same policy against it. Iran since taking office. In addition to the direct talks in Vienna, French President Emmanuel Macron held talks with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi with the aim of breaking the deadlock, but he admitted that the Vienna talks did not been a success.