Europe Says Iran Nuke Talks Becoming 'Empty Shell' as Standstill Persists

Senior European diplomats warn that 'time is running out' in the nuclear negotiations with Iran, as no real progress has been reported yet

Reuters
Reuters
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Flags of participating states during a meeting of the joint commission on negotiations aimed at reviving the Iran nuclear deal in Vienna, last week.
Flags of participating states during a meeting of the joint commission on negotiations aimed at reviving the Iran nuclear deal in Vienna, last week.Credit: HANDOUT - AFP
Reuters
Reuters

Western powers still have not had real negotiations with Iran at talks on rescuing the 2015 nuclear deal, and unless there is swift progress that deal will soon be "an empty shell," senior diplomats from France, Britain and Germany said on Monday.

"As of this moment, we still have not been able to get down to real negotiations," the diplomats from the so-called E3 said in a statement.

"Time is running out. Without swift progress, in light of Iran's fast-forwarding of its nuclear program, the JCPOA will very soon become an empty shell," they said, using the deal's full name, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

The current round of talks in Vienna follow a pause of five months after the election of hardliner Ebrahim Raisi as Iran's president.

Iranian officials have previously said they were sticking to their tough stance.

The draft agreements submitted by Ali Bagheri Kani, Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator, include a withdrawal from nearly all the understandings reached in the previous round of talks, in June, as well as a demand that the world powers commit not only to lifting the economic sanctions against Iran but also provide guarantees that no new sanctions would be imposed on it in the future.

Under an original deal that then-U.S. President Donald Trump abandoned in 2018, Iran limited its nuclear program in return for relief from U.S., European Union and UN sanctions.

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