Vienna's luxury Palais Coburg hotel, the venue of diplomatic talks on Iran's nuclear program (file photo)

Vienna's luxury Palais Coburg hotel, the venue of diplomatic talks on Iran's nuclear program

European Diplomat Says Gap Widening Between US, Iran Positions

5/21/2022

A European diplomat involved in the Vienna talks to revive Iran’s nuclear deal has expressed growing frustration and alarm that the United States may let restoration of the pact fail.

In an article published on Friday, American journalist Laura Rozen quoted the unnamed source as saying that “Every day which passes without achieving agreement, the risk to lose everything increases considerably”.

“As far as I see it, both sides are going into different directions and the distance is not narrowing down,” the European diplomat said, referring to the United States and Iran.

Criticizing the White House’s political cautiousness, former NATO Secretary General Javier Solana and former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt warned in a Washington Post op-ed this week that “Biden must seriously consider the costs of his passivity vis-a-vis Iran and find a way forward — or we may find ourselves in another conflict that no one asked for”.

The French foreign ministry spokesperson said on May 17 that “The draft agreement on resuming compliance with the JCPOA (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) has been ready for more than two months. However, it is being held up by an issue between the United States and Iran that is not related to the JCPOA”.

Tehran says Washington must respond to proposals it put forth last week during the visit of EU coordinator Enrique Mora, to break the stalemate in nuclear talks.

Negotiations that started in Vienna in April last year to restore Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal known as JCPOA came to a halt in March as Tehran reportedly demanded the removal of its Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) from the US Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) list.

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