Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said his country displayed “transparency” in its nuclear operations. This is a response to Tuesday’s critical report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The head of US diplomacy, Antony Blinken, announced that Washington is close to withdrawing from negotiations with Iran that were underway in Vienna on the renewal of the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran.
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said in a telephone interview with European Council President Charles Michel that “the Islamic Republic’s serious cooperation with the IAEA is a clear example of Iran’s pursuit of transparency in nuclear activities.”
– Of course, in the case of a non-constructive approach by the IAEA, it is unwise to expect a constructive response from Iran. Moreover, non-constructive actions naturally disrupt the negotiation process, added the Iranian president, quoted by the AFP agency.
Head of US diplomacy: The US is close to withdrawing from the ongoing negotiations
The head of US diplomacy, Antony Blinken, who is visiting Germany on Wednesday, announced that Washington is close to withdrawing from negotiations with Iran underway in Vienna on the renewal of the 2015 nuclear agreement with Tehran (JCPOA).
“We are approaching the point where a return to the JCPOA can no longer rebuild the benefits of this agreement (…) as Iran continues to make progress in developing its nuclear program,” warned Blinken. He also added that he did not want to give a specific date.
The IAEA criticizes Iran for not responding to its nuclear program
On Tuesday The IAEA criticized the Iranian authorities for not explaining the uranium traces found in 2019 and 2020 in places undeclared by the Iranian side. As Reuters commented, the agency’s report may complicate the resumption of negotiations on a return to the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.
So far, six rounds of talks have taken place in Vienna. However, they were interrupted when the new Iranian president, Ebrahim Raisi, took power in early August, and while he supports the continuation of negotiations, it is widely expected in Iranian political circles that he will take a firmer line on this issue than his predecessor Hasan Rowhani.
The US withdrew from the nuclear deal and imposed new sanctions
The 2015 nuclear deal with Iran provided that Tehran would significantly reduce uranium production, and the international community would lift the economic sanctions imposed on the country. In 2018, then-US President Donald Trump withdrew Washington from the deal and imposed new economic sanctions on Iran.
In the second half of August, France, Germany and the United Kingdom called on Iran to refrain from acting in violation of the nuclear deal. Two days before this statement, the IAEA announced that Iran had started enriching uranium to a level that was close to use in the production of nuclear weapons.
Main photo source: PAP / EPA / PRESIDENT OFFICE HANDOUT