Europe and the US are frustrated by Iran's stance in nuclear negotiations

BERLIN (AP), -- European diplomats express frustration at Iran's stance during talks aimed to salvage its tattered 2015 nuke deal. They claim they are wasting their time dealing with new Iranian demands. The U.S. Secretary Antony Blinken stated on Tuesday that diplomacy is still the best option, but that Washington is working with partners to explore other options.

Europe and the US are frustrated by Iran's stance in nuclear negotiations


 

The remaining signatories of the 2015 agreement, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (or JCPOA), resumed talks in Vienna last week.

After the Iranian delegation, representing the new hard-line government of Iran -- had previously made many demands that were unacceptable to other participants, diplomats from France and Germany urged Tehran for "realistic proposals".

Senior diplomats representing the three European countries made it clear Monday night that the situation has not improved despite the fact that "all delegations" have tried to press Iran to be more reasonable. Russia and China are also part of the agreement.

Because the United States withdrew in 2018 from the agreement under President Donald Trump, it has been indirectly involved in the ongoing negotiations. President Joe Biden indicated that he would like to be a part of the agreement.

The European diplomats stated that "as of right now, we have not been in able to get down on real negotiations." "We are wasting precious time dealing with new Iranian positions that are inconsistent with the JCPOA, or that go beyond it."

They stated that the situation was frustrating because there had been a draft of a "comprehensive, fair agreement" last summer which would remove all sanctions associated with the nuclear deal and address nonproliferation concerns.

They warned that "Time is running out." "If there is no swift progress in Iran's nuclear program, the JCPOA could very quickly become an empty shell."

In exchange for loosening economic sanctions, the Vienna accord was signed in 2015.

Iran has increased its nuclear program after the U.S. decided to withdraw from the region and reimpose sanctions. It also began enriching uranium above the limits allowed by the agreement. Iran also made it difficult for U.N. nuclear watchdog monitors to access its nuclear facilities, raising questions about Iran's intentions.

Blinken spoke to journalists in Jakarta about the frustration of the European powers.

He said, "We continue at the hour, on this date to pursue diplomacy, because it remains at the moment the best option. But we are actively engaging partners and allies on alternatives."

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