| 27 February 2024, Tuesday |

Iran, EU officials say nuclear deal not yet done as officials focus on ‘final’ steps

On Thursday, Iran said additional efforts were required to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, while an EU official overseeing nuclear talks between Tehran and Western powers said “we are absolutely not there yet,” but that talks were in the “final stages.”

“Premature good news isn’t a replacement for excellent agreement.” Nobody can declare the deal completed until all unresolved difficulties are settled. Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Saeed Khatibzadeh, remarked on Twitter that “more efforts are required.”

“Everyone is now concentrating on the last few crucial measures.”

On Thursday, Enrique Mora, the European Union’s coordinator for ongoing nuclear talks between Iran and Western powers aimed at resurrecting the 2015 deal, said the talks were in their “final phases,” adding that “success is never guaranteed in such negotiations.”

“Some crucial topics remain outstanding, and success in such a complex negotiation is never guaranteed,” Mora commented on Twitter.

“In the coordinator’s team, we’re giving it our all. But we’re still a long way off.”

The remaining signatories to the agreement — Iran, Russia, China, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom – are currently meeting in Vienna.

Due to Iran’s refusal to deal directly with the US, the US is participating in the discussions in an indirect manner.

Britain’s representative to the talks said earlier on Thursday that negotiators were “quite close to a deal.”

“We’re on the verge of reaching a deal.” Under the direction of EU Coordinator Enrique Mora, all parties have engaged in fruitful negotiations. Stephanie Al-Qaq remarked on Twitter, “Now we only have to do the last few steps.”

“Thank you for your tireless work over the previous 11 months,” said French lead negotiator Philippe Errera, who tweeted a photo of French, British, and German officials during the negotiations on Thursday.

Some on social media misinterpreted Errera’s remark as implying that a deal was close at hand.

The Vienna discussions, which began in April 2021, are aimed at bringing Iran back into compliance with the deal and making it easier for the US to rejoin it. Iran was granted respite from sanctions in exchange for limits on its nuclear program.

Under then-President Donald Trump, Washington pulled out of the agreement in 2018, reimposing broad economic penalties on Iran. As a result, Iran flouted many of the terms of the agreement, including a 3.67 percent purity to which it could enrich uranium.

Tehran, which claims its nuclear program is solely for peaceful purposes, has now begun enriching uranium to 60 percent purity, a significant step closer to the 90 percent purity required for weapons-grade material.

If the Vienna talks fail, Iran could face increased isolation and even military conflict. Israel has previously threatened that if diplomacy fails to halt Iran’s nuclear development, it will resort to force.

  • alarabiya