European countries participating in the negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program (Britain, France and Germany/E3) are calling on Iran “not to make unrealistic demands outside the framework” of the 2015 deal, in a statement today.
The remarks come a day after talks on Iran’s nuclear program resumed in Vienna, as Tehran calls for an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) investigation to be shut down.
That investigation, involving traces of enriched uranium found at three undeclared facilities in Iran, has long poisoned relations between the Islamic Republic and the UN nuclear agency.
For European diplomats, the matter should be settled in separate discussions with the IAEA.
The negotiations, which resumed on Thursday in Vienna, “do not mark the restart of a new cycle”, the so-called E3 countries insist.
“The text is on the table. There will be no resumption of negotiations. Iran must now make the decision to conclude the deal while it is still possible,” they added.
And they continue: “We immediately ask Iran not to make unrealistic demands out of context,” “including outstanding issues related to IAEA safeguards.”
However, Tehran considers the issue “political in nature and should not be used as a pretext to punish Iran,” according to a diplomat interviewed by Iran’s official Irna news agency today.
“We are at a defining moment in Vienna and the Iranian side must get guarantees (on this issue) as soon as possible,” he insisted.
After months of stalled negotiations, diplomats from all sides (Iran, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany) are returning to the Austrian capital to save the crumbling 2015 deal.
The agreement known by its English acronym JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action / JCPOA) aims to guarantee the civilian character of Iran’s nuclear program, which is accused of seeking to acquire an atomic weapon although it categorically denies this.
However, after the unilateral withdrawal of the United States in 2018 at the urging of Donald Trump and the reinstatement of US sanctions against the Islamic Republic, Tehran has gradually disengaged from its obligations under the international agreement on its nuclear program.