EghtesadOnline: It is regrettable that the European countries issue an unconsidered statement in a move that is deviating and far from a productive approach in negotiations, Kanaani said.
The recent statement issued by France, Germany and Britain is “unconstructive” and contradicts expected good faith on their part with regard to negotiations on the revival of the 2015 nuclear deal, a senior Iranian diplomat said.
“It is cause for wonder and regret that, where diplomatic interaction and exchange of messages between negotiating parties and the coordinator for the finalization of talks are underway, the three European countries issue such a statement in a move that is deviating and far from a productive approach in negotiations,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Nasser Kanaani said on Saturday evening, ISNA reported.
The European powers issued a statement on Saturday, questioning Iran’s intention and commitment to conclude negotiations on the 2015 deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
Kanaani warned the European countries against falling under the influence of third parties who opposed the talks from the beginning and still seek its failure.
He described the statement as “unconsidered”, saying if such an approach persists, the European states should also take responsibility for the consequences.
The JCPOA offered sanctions relief to Tehran in return for curbs on its nuclear program, but the United States pulled out four years ago and reimposed tough sanctions which prompted the Islamic Republic to row back on its nuclear commitments.
Negotiations in the Austrian capital Vienna aim to work out how both sides can resume compliance, but are lingering over a few final differences.
Both sides are currently responding to an initiative put forward by the European Union coordinator Josep Borrell.
The European countries said the coordinator made additional changes in this final package that “took us to the limit of our flexibility.”
“Unfortunately, Iran has chosen not to seize this critical diplomatic opportunity,” the three countries known as the E3 asserted in their statement.
Iran submitted its latest views and changes last week, which was not well received by the West who called it “unconstructive” and “a step backwards”, while Tehran maintains the amendments were aimed at removing any ambiguity to prevent future misinterpretation.
In its latest comments, Tehran reiterated a key demand for the conclusion of investigations by the International Atomic Energy Agency into nuclear material allegedly found at three undeclared sites.
Iran insists that the file is based on fabricated information and must be closed before a deal is signed so that such allegations would not disrupt the implementation of JCPOA in the future.
The three European powers contended that this demand raises serious doubts as to Iran’s intentions and commitment to a successful outcome on the JCPOA.
“Iran’s position contradicts its legally binding obligations and jeopardizes prospects of restoring the JCPOA,” the statement read.
In June, the IAEA Board of Governors adopted a resolution, drafted by the E3 and the US, urging Iran to answer the UN nuclear agency’s outstanding questions.
The UN watchdog said in a new report on Wednesday that it was “not in a position to provide assurance that Iran’s nuclear program is exclusively peaceful” and that “no progress” has been made in resolving questions about the past traces of nuclear material in Iran’s “three undeclared sites.”
The European powers urged Iran to “fully and without delay” cooperate in good faith with the IAEA.
“The JCPOA can in no way be used to release Iran from legally binding obligations that are essential to the global non-proliferation regime.”
Kanaani highlighted Iran’s history of constructive cooperation with the agency as a “responsible” member of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and related safeguards agreement, stressing the need for avoiding politicization and raising groundless accusations against the Islamic Republic.
Pointing to Europe’s inaction in recent months, he also censured their “unfitting and political” move in spearheading the anti-Iran motion at the IAEA board.
“Instead of starting a move to destroy the diplomatic process, the three European countries are advised to play a more active role in presenting solutions to end the few remaining differences,” he said.
“Iran is still ready and determined to finalize a deal and believes that reaching an agreement quickly is possible if the required will is present and coming under influence from the outside is avoided,” he stressed.
Russia also called the statement “very untimely indeed.”
“Right at a critical moment at the #ViennaTalks and on the eve of the session of the #IAEA Board of Governors,” Russia’s top negotiator Mikhail Ulyanov said on Twitter.
The IAEA’s Board of Governors are set to meet on Monday, but diplomats say a new resolution against Iran is unlikely.