Iranian nuclear power: Washington sees “modest” progress in negotiations

The United States reported progress on Tuesday (December 28) “Modest” in the negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program, but joined the Europeans in insisting on “The emergency” to conclude the discussions in the face of Tehran’s nuclear advances.

“We have noticed in recent days that there may have been modest progress during the last discussions”US State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters the day after negotiations resumed in Vienna to try to save the 2015 Iran nuclear deal (whose acronym in English is JCPOA).

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“But the parties must seek to build on this progress in a constructive spirit and with conviction”, he added, believing that he was “Too early to say whether this progress [avaient] any substance “. These advances are no matter what “Much too slow” and “This cannot last”, continued the spokesperson. “It will soon be too late to return to mutual respect for the JCPOA”.

” Unprecedented “

The negotiators of the three European countries (France, Germany, United Kingdom) signatories to the agreement also stressed that this negotiation was ” urgent “. “It is clear that we are approaching the point where the Iranian nuclear escalation will have emptied the JCPOA of its substance”, they noted, reiterating that there remained “Weeks and not months to reach an agreement”.

They particularly insisted on the level of uranium enrichment by Iran, which is dangerously close to the nuclear threshold, even if Tehran said on Saturday that it did not intend to enrich beyond 60% in the event of failure of negotiations in Vienna. “We take note of the comment from the head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization that Iran will not enrich beyond 60 % », they said.

“The fact remains that enriching at 60 % is unprecedented for a non-nuclear weapon state ”, they added. “The increase in its uranium stocks to 60 % brings Iran significantly closer to obtaining the fissile material that can be used for the manufacture of a nuclear weapon ”, they hammered.

The stake of the talks aims to bring back into the pact the United States, which left it in 2018, and to bring back Tehran to the respect of its commitments, broken in reaction to the reinstatement of American sanctions. Iran notably announced in April that it had started producing uranium enriched to 60%, that is to say well beyond the threshold of 3.67% set by the international agreement, approaching the 90% necessary for the manufacture of ‘an atomic bomb even if he denies having such a project.

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Discussions still “very difficult”

In addition to the three European countries, China and Russia are also involved in the negotiations with Iran. The United States is participating indirectly.

European Union (EU) coordinator Enrique Mora, who is chairing the talks, said on Monday that all sides had shown “A clear desire to work for the success of this negotiation” but predicted discussions again “Very difficult” in the “Days and weeks to come”.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, quoted by the official IRNA news agency, said on Tuesday that the negotiations were ” on the right track “. “With the good will and the seriousness of the other parties, we can hope [atteindre] an agreement in the near future ”, he said.

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According to the permanent representative of Russia to international organizations in Vienna, Mikhail Ulyanov, the working group on nuclear issues had “A useful meeting” mardi. “We are seeing undeniable progress”, he said on Twitter. The lifting of sanctions is also “Actively discussed” informally, he added.

The World with AFP

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Iranian nuclear power: Washington sees “modest” progress in negotiations

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