British and French foreign ministers at the G7 meeting on December 10, 2021

British and French foreign ministers at the G7 meeting on December 10.

Iran Hardliners Accuse France, E-3 of Sabotaging Vienna Talks


Hardline media in Iran accuse the three European participants in the Vienna nuclear talks, particularly France, of working against Iran and preventing an agreement.

IRGC-linked news agency Fars said in a January 24 report that "Europe's destructive measures against an agreement between Iran and world powers is no less than what the United States has been doing to disrupt the talks."

Meanwhile, Farhikhtegan newspaper affiliated with the hardliner-dominated Islamic Azad University, charged in a December 24 report that the three European states including France, Germany and the United Kingdom (the E-3) have been furthering a "destructive policy" since the start of the new round of the Vienna Talks.

The daily said that the objective of the E-3 has been getting more and more concessions from Iran as far as nuclear issues and sanction-related matters are concerned. The daily further charged that the E-3 diplomats have been trying to convince the media that Iranian negotiators lacked a serious will to reach an agreement.

Iran returned to talks with world powers in Vienna on November 29, after it stopped negotiations in June when hardliner Ebrahim Raisi won the presidential vote. After the long delay, Tehran came to talks with new demands which upset the West. The E-3 began issuing warning to Iran to adopt a serious negotiating posture.

Farhikhtegan opined that an agreement leading to peace in the region might deprive France of the benefit of arms sale in the Middle East. Farhikhtegan further claimed that some European states that have been annoyed by France's positions have threatened to start talks with Iran separately. There have been no such reports as both Britain and Germany have also warned Iran, while other European countries are not involved in the matter.

Meanwhile, Fars quoted hardline commentator Vahid Karimi as having said that France's approach is even more destructive than the United States. He said, "As soon as the United States softens its stances, France comes forward and tries to sabotage the talks." He also added that the UK which is no longer part of the EU, is taking advantage of the situation to blackmail the other two European states. He did not offer any evidence or explain how The UK was “blackmailing” France and Germany.

Karimi claimed that the United States no longer attaches importance to Israel's position about the Iranian nuclear issue, and France has replaced Israel as the country that is doing whatever it can to make the talks futile.

In another report, Fars quoted hardline international relations expert Mostafa Khoshchashm as having said that France is playing a dual role in the talks and tries to get concessions from both Iran and other European states.

Khoshchashm agreed with other hardliners that France has replaced Israel by playing the part of the bad cop in the nuclear talks with the Islamic Republic.

Khoshchashm said that now the Western side faces two choices: Leaving the talks and turning their back to diplomacy, which would show they are not interested in the negotiators, or returning to the negotiations while accepting Iran's terms.

Khshchashm also expressed appreciation for "Russia and China's wholehearted support for Iran both in the talks and in the public arena.

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