European diplomats expressed “disappointment and concern” on Friday after five days of international negotiations in Vienna on reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal as they broke off until next week.
The diplomats expressed dismay after Iran submitted two draft proposals that seemingly undo months of dialogue.
Senior diplomats from Britain, France and Germany (known as the E3) said they are disappointed and concerned after thoroughly and carefully analyzing Iranian proposed changes to the text negotiated during the previous six rounds.
The latest round of talks between the E3, Iran, China, and Russia with indirect United States participation began on Monday and ended on Friday without any fruitful result.
The diplomats were aiming to revive the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) which began unraveling in 2018 when former US President Donald Trump pulled out of the deal.
But incumbent US President Joe Biden says Washington is ready to rejoin the JCPOA.
In a statement, the E3 diplomats said the draft on sanctions relief was extreme and maximalist, with the Iranians increasing their sanctions relief demands in comparison to the draft agreement achieved with the previous Rouhani government last June.
“The second draft on Iranian nuclear measures was also very hardline. Iranians removed all of the previously agreed compromise language on steps they will take to roll back their nuclear program. In practice, the Iranians agree to fewer limitations on their nuclear program,” the statement added.
“Iran is backtracking on almost all of the difficult compromises reached in months of tough negotiations and is demanding substantial changes to the text,” the E3 diplomats said.”
The E3 diplomats said that because Iran had suspended talks for five months — during which it has accelerated its nuclear program — it’s hard to know whether the new gaps in the negotiations can be closed in a realistic timeframe.
The delegations must go back to their capitals for consultations in order to assess next steps, the statement said, adding, “Our governments remain fully committed to a diplomatic path. However, the window for that is getting smaller.”
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