A joint statement from Germany, France, and Britain regarding talks aimed at reviving a 2015 nuclear deal was labelled “unconstructive” and “regrettable” by Iran’s foreign ministry on Saturday.
The three European parties’ “unconstructive” statement is “surprising and disappointing,” according to Nasser Kanani, a spokesman for Iran’s foreign ministry, given that diplomatic engagements and message exchanges are still being held in order to conclude the negotiations.
The three made the comments after expressing “severe reservations” about Iran’s sincerity in its pursuit of a resurrected nuclear accord and warning that the Islamic Republic’s posture was endangering the chances of achieving a deal.
“The three European countries are advised to play a more active role to provide a solution to end the few remaining disagreements instead of entering the phase of destroying the diplomatic process,” Kanani said.
The three European nations who are signatories to the agreement stated on Saturday that Tehran “has chosen not to exploit this vital diplomatic opportunity,” adding that “instead, Iran continues to escalate its nuclear programme much beyond any reasonable civilian purpose.”
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They noted that Tehran has also brought up again problems pertaining to its legally enforceable commitments under the Non Proliferation Treaty reached with the UN’s nuclear energy watchdog IAEA.
Regarding Israel, the Islamic republic’s archenemy and a steadfast opponent of the deal, Kanani said it was regretful that “the three European countries have taken a step in the route of the Zionist regime to defeat the negotiations with this ill-considered remark.”
The 2015 agreement, known formally as the connectt Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA, gave Iran sanctions relief in return for restricting its nuclear program.
But in 2018, then president Donald Trump withdrew the US from the deal and began reimposing biting sanctions, prompting Tehran to roll back on its commitments under the agreement.
Since April 2021, talks in Vienna have tried to revive the agreement by re-easing the sanctions against Tehran and pressuring Iran to completely uphold its promises.
The mediator of the negotiations, the European Union, presented a “final” draught of the deal last month.
Then Iran and the US each responded to the text in turn, with Washington declaring that Iran’s most recent response was a “step backwards” on Friday.
(With inputs from agencies)