Time is running out for Iran’s nuclear deal, Germany says

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrives to attend G7 Summit for Foreign and Development Ministers in Liverpool, UK 11 December 2021. Olivier Douliery / Pool via REUTERS

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LIVERPOOL, England, December 11 (Reuters) – German Foreign Minister warned on Saturday that time was running out to find a way to revive a 2015 nuclear deal between world powers and Iran as she spoke after meetings with her G7 counterparts countries.

Talks have resumed in Vienna to try to revive the nuclear pact, with both sides trying to gauge the prospects for success following recent exchanges in stop-start negotiations.

“Time is running out,” German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock told reporters in Liverpool, England, where the G7 foreign ministers are meeting.

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“It has shown in the last few days that we have no progress.”

Baerbock said Iran had resumed negotiations with an attitude that put the negotiations six months back. The current round of negotiations in Vienna follows a break of five months following the election of a tough anti-Westerner as Iran’s president, Ebrahim Raisi.

Earlier, US officials said that Foreign Minister Antony Blinken had held a “productive” meeting with colleagues from Britain, Germany and France on Friday, where they discussed the way forward for the Iran negotiations.

Iranian officials have previously said they stuck to their tough stance.

Under the original nuclear deal signed in 2018 by then-President Donald Trump, Iran restricted its nuclear program in return for exemption from the United States, the EU and UN sanctions. The West fears the program will be used to develop weapons, something Tehran rejects.

Raisi said on Saturday that Tehran was serious about its nuclear talks in Vienna, the official IRNA news agency reported. Read more

The indirect US-Iran talks, in which diplomats from France, Britain, Germany, Russia and China are commuting between them because Tehran refuses direct contact with Washington, are aimed at getting both sides to resume full compliance with the agreement.

The G7 summit, which is expected to result in a joint call on Iran to moderate its nuclear program and seize the opportunity for the Vienna negotiations. Read more

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Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk Writing by William James Editing by Michael Holden, Edmund Blair and Frances Kerry

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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