FRANKFURT/TEHRAN: France, Germany and Britain have urged Iran to agree to a proposed relaunch of the agreement limiting its nuclear program, saying final texts of a deal have been readied but Iran “has chosen not to seize this critical diplomatic opportunity.”
The three European governments said in a joint statement Saturday that Iran has instead raised “separate issues” and “continues to escalate its nuclear program way beyond any plausible civilian justification.”
Tehran has also reopened issues related to its legally binding obligations under the Non Proliferation Treaty that was concluded with the UN atomic energy watchdog IAEA, they added.
The statement comes amid efforts to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which eased sanctions on Iran in return for curbs on its nuclear program. The United States unilaterally pulled out of the accord in 2018 under then-President Donald Trump and reimposed sanctions on Iran, prompting Tehran to start backing away from the deal’s terms.
Meanwhile, Iran’s foreign ministry on Saturday described as “unconstructive” and “regrettable” the joint statement issued by the trio.
“It is surprising and regrettable that, in a situation where diplomatic interactions and exchanges of messages are continuing... to finalize the negotiations,” the three European parties would issue such an “unconstructive” statement, Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani said.
“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 added.
Kanani said it was “regrettable that the three European countries have taken a step in the path of the Zionist regime to defeat the negotiations with this ill-considered statement,” referring to Israel, the Islamic republic’s arch-foe and a staunch opponent of the deal.
“If such an approach continues, they must also accept responsibility for its results,” he said.
The UN atomic watchdog said Wednesday it believes Iran has further increased its stockpile of uranium that is highly enriched to one short, technical step away from weapons-grade levels.
Iran last week sent a written response in negotiations over a final draft of a roadmap for parties to return to the tattered nuclear deal, though the US cast doubt on Tehran’s offer. Neither side elaborated on the contents.
(With AP and AFP)