EU says crossing Iran nuclear deal finish line may not be possible

The UN Security Council met to discuss Iran a day after the US-Iranian indirect talks ended in Doha with no sign of progress on reviving the pact under which Tehran limited its nuclear program in exchange for relief from US, UN and EU sanctions.

“I’m afraid we won’t cross the finish line. My message is: seize this opportunity to get the deal done, based on the text that’s on the table,” EU ambassador said European to the United Nations, Olof Skoog.

The EU is coordinating talks on reviving the deal, which then-US President Donald Trump reneged on in 2018 and reinstated tough US sanctions on Iran, prompting Tehran to start violating its restrictions nuclear about a year later.

“The prospects for a deal after Doha are worse than they were before Doha and they will get worse day by day,” the senior US official told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

“You could describe Doha as at best an overstaffing, at worst as a setback. But at this point, oversetting is for all intents and purposes falling back,” he added.

The Security Council met to discuss the latest report from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on the implementation of a 2015 Council resolution that enshrines the nuclear deal, officially called the Plan Joint Global Action Plan (JCPOA).

American, British and French diplomats have all blamed Iran for failing to revive the deal after more than a year of negotiations.

Iran “should urgently agree to this deal – there will be no better one,” British Ambassador to the UN Barbara Woodward said.

“Iran has yet to demonstrate a real urgency to reach a deal, end the current nuclear crisis and secure a significant lifting of sanctions,” said Richard Mills, US Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations. , during a meeting.

“Iran not only did not accept the offer on the table, but it also added other issues that do not fall under the JCPOA with maximalist and unrealistic demands,” the French ambassador told AFP. UN, Nicolas de Rivière.

Iran, however, described the latest talks as “serious and positive” and said it was ready to strike a deal.

“Iran has demanded verifiable and objective assurances from the United States that the JCPOA will not be torpedoed again, that the United States will not violate its obligations, and that the sanctions will not be reimposed under other pretexts or designations,” Iranian Ambassador to the UN Majid Takht said. Ravanchi told the council.

The senior US official disputed Tehran’s argument that Washington was responsible for the lack of progress, saying the US had responded positively to EU-proposed changes to the draft text of an agreement reached during broader talks in March, while Iran had not responded to those proposals.

“Their vague demands, reopening of settled issues, and demands clearly unrelated to the JCPOA all suggest to us … that the real discussion that needs to take place is (not) between Iran and the United States to resolve disputes. It’s between Iran and Iran,” the senior US official said.

“At this point, I’m not sure they (the Iranians) know what more they want. They didn’t come to Doha with details,” he added.

However, Chinese and Russian diplomats blamed the United States, with Beijing’s representative urging Washington to ease unilateral US sanctions on Iran and Russia calling on all parties to show flexibility.

(Reporting by Michelle Nichols at the United Nations and Arshad Mohammed in Washington; Editing by Mark Heinrich, Grant McCool and Daniel Wallis)

By Arshad Mohammed and Michelle Nichols

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