Iran nuclear talks end without progress
A European mediator said Tehran and Washington failed to resolve outstanding issues during negotiations in Qatar
The latest round of talks to revive the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers has ended with little headway, officials said, as both sides blame one another for the stalled negotiations.
European Union mediator Enrique Mora noted the end of two days of “intense” talks in the Qatari capital on Wednesday, stating that the United States and Iran failed to make “the progress the EU team… had hoped-for.” He nonetheless said the delegations would “keep working with even greater urgency” to renew the nuclear agreement, despite months of heated negotiations that have yielded few results.
Two intense days of proximity talks in Doha on #JCPOA. Unfortunately, not yet the progress the EU team as coordinator had hoped-for. We will keep working with even greater urgency to bring back on track a key deal for non-proliferation and regional stability @JosepBorrellF pic.twitter.com/eA1Wluif01
— Enrique Mora (@enriquemora_) June 29, 2022
Speaking to Axios, an unnamed senior US official insisted Tehran was at fault for prolonging the talks, accusing its negotiators of raising “old issues that have been settled for months,” as well as “new issues that are unrelated to the 2015 nuclear agreement.”
“If there is a side that needs to take a decision, it’s them – and it’s been them for months,” the official said, adding that while “A deal has been available for some time,” Iranian officials “have not demonstrated any sense of urgency.”
According to a spokesperson from the Iranian Foreign Ministry cited by Tasnim News, Mora will continue to speak with Deputy FM Ali Bagheri Kani about how to proceed with the nuclear talks, which have been held in Vienna, Austria and as well as Doha, Qatar since US President Joe Biden took office.
Tasnim, a semi-official outlet, also reported that no progress was made in Qatar, but instead blamed the US side for refusing to offer “guarantees for Iran’s economic benefits” linked to the nuclear agreement, also claiming the the lagging negotiations were caused by the “weakness of the Biden administration.”
First signed in 2015 and formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the nuclear deal was meant to impose strict safeguards on Iran’s nuclear energy program in exchange for sanctions relief from the West, namely Washington. While the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog repeatedly confirmed that Tehran was keeping to the agreement for years after it was struck, former US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the deal in 2018 and reimposed all prior American sanctions. Iran has responded by gradually scaling back its own commitments under the JCPOA, insisting it will return to full compliance only after the US penalties are dropped.