Top German diplomat expresses concern over Iran delaying nuclear deal negotiations

Berlin, Jul 30 (FN Agency) German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Friday that he was concerned about Tehran postponing the resumption of the Vienna negotiations on the Iranian nuclear program. “I see with growing concern that Iran, on the one hand, keeps postponing the resumption of the Vienna talks on the nuclear program and at the same time, on the other hand, is moving further and further away from the main elements of the agreement,” Maas said, as quoted by Der Spiegel magazine. Negotiations on the return of the United States to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) have reached an impasse, according to the media outlet.

Earlier in the day, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Washington remains ready to return to Vienna and continue negotiations on the nuclear deal with Iran, adding that Tehran has to make decisions on the deal as the “ball remains in Iran’s court.” In 2015, Iran struck the JCPOA deal with Russia, China, the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union, France, and Germany. Under the accord, Tehran had to scale back its nuclear program and considerably decrease its uranium reserves in exchange for sanctions relief. In 2018, former President Donald Trump pulled Washington out of the deal and reimposed a sanctions policy against Tehran, which in response began to gradually abandon its commitments under the agreement. Since April, Vienna has been hosting sessions of the JCPOA joint commission, as well as informal meetings in different formats aimed at preventing the Iran nuclear deal from falling apart after the US exit. The sixth round of the talks finished on June 20. Tehran said that the negotiations should resume after President-Elect Ebrahim Raisi takes office on August 5.