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Germany signals growing impatience with Iran on nuclear deal

·2-min read

Germany's foreign minister is signaling growing impatience with Iran, saying that a revival of the country's frayed nuclear accord with world powers won't be possible “forever," a German magazine reported Friday.

The countries that remain parties to the agreement — Russia, China, Germany, France, Britain and Iran — have been trying during six rounds of talks in Vienna to resolve how the United States can rejoin and how Tehran can return to compliance. President Donald Trump pulled out of the agreement in 2018, but successor Joe Biden has said the US wants to return.

The last round of talks ended in Vienna on 20 June. No date has been set for a new meeting.

“I am seeing with growing unease that Iran is delaying the resumption of the Vienna nuclear talks on the one hand, and on the other hand it is simultaneously moving further and further away from core elements of the agreement,” news weekly Der Spiegel quoted German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas as saying.

Since the US pulled out, Iran has gradually been violating the deal's restrictions to put pressures on the remaining parties to come up with economic incentives to offset crippling American sanctions.

The accord, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, is aimed at preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Tehran denies it is seeking any.

Fruitless

“We want a return to the JCPOA and are firmly convinced that it is in all sides' interest,” Maas said. “But it is also clear that this option will not be open to us forever."

Maas echos words by US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken on Thursday. During a trip to Kuwait, he said that "negotiations with Tehran over the Iran nuclear deal "cannot and will not go on indefinitely."

Meanwhile, Iran remains sceptical as well.

"The current US administration has not yet fulfilled the promises Joe Biden made during his presidential elections campaigns to undo Trump's actions and return to the deal," says the pro-government Mehr News Agency, calling the talks "fruitless".

It noted that the US has "not taken one step forward to" lift sanctions, and that "the Americans have refused to guarantee that they will not violate the JCPOA again."

(With agencies)

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