EU says it may not be possible to cross finish line in Iran nuclear deal
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Iran’s Ambassador to the United Nations Majid Takht-Ravanchi speaks to the media outside the rooms of the Security Council at United Nations headquarters in New York, U.S., June 24, 2019. REUTERS / Shannon Stapleton
By Arshad Mohammed and Michelle Nichols
UN (Reuters) – Western officials voiced doubts about reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal on Thursday, with the European Union saying it “may not cross the finish line.” and a US official said the odds were stretched after this week’s failed talks.
The United Nations Security Council met to discuss Iran a day after indirect US-Iran talks ended in Doha with no sign of progress in restoring the accord thereto. Tehran limits its nuclear program in exchange for US, UN and EU sanctions.
European Union Ambassador to the United Nations Olof Skoog said: “I am concerned that we may not pass the milestone. My message is: Seize this opportunity to sign the agreement, based on this. on the discussed text”.
The EU coordinated talks on restoring the deal US President Donald Trump then abandoned in 2018 and reinstating harsh US sanctions on Iran, prompting Tehran to begin breaching its limits. nuclear process about a year later.
“The outlook for a post-Doha deal is worse than it was pre-Doha, and they’re going to get worse during the day,” the senior US official told Reuters on condition of anonymity.
“You could describe Doha at best as stepping on water, at worst as moving backwards. But at this point, water-stomping is for all practical purposes of moving backwards,” he added. .
The Security Council met to discuss United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ latest report on the implementation of a 2015 council resolution on the nuclear deal, formally known as the Action Plan. Joint Comprehensiveness (JCPOA).
Diplomats from the United States, Britain and France have all taken issue with Iran for its failure to restore the deal after more than a year of negotiations.
Iran “should urgently implement this deal – there won’t be a better deal”, UK Ambassador Barbara Woodward (NASDAQ:) said.
Richard Mills, Deputy US Ambassador to the United Nations, said at the meeting: “Iran has yet to show any real urgency to conclude an agreement, end the current nuclear crisis and achieve dismantling. lift important sanctions.”
UN Ambassador to France Nicolas de Riviere said: “Iran not only did not accept the request, but also raised many issues outside the JCPOA with maximalism and unrealistic demands.”
However, Iran described the latest talks as “serious and positive” and said it was ready to reach a deal.
“Iran has asked the US for objective and verifiable assurances that the JCPOA will not be torpedoed again, that the US will not violate its obligations again and that sanctions will not be imposed. reset on other premises or designations,” Iran’s UN Ambassador Majid Takht Ravanchi told the council.
The senior US official countered Tehran’s argument that Washington was the cause of the lack of progress, saying the US had responded positively to the EU’s proposed changes to the draft text of the agreement reached. in broader negotiations in March while Iran did not respond to those changes. proposals.
“Their vague requests, reopening of resolved issues, and clearly non-JCPOA-related requests all hint to us… that the discussion really ought to take place (it’s not) between Iran and the US to resolve the remaining differences. That is between Iran and Iran,” the senior US official said.
“At this point, I’m not sure if they (the Iranians) know what they want anymore. They didn’t go to Doha specifically,” he added.
However, Chinese and Russian diplomats have blamed the US, with Beijing’s representative urging Washington to ease unilateral US sanctions on Iran and Russia calling on all parties to show flexibility.