UN chief says Iran nuclear talks in 'stalemate'
Despite that Iran has offered to help EU countries solve their energy crisis, the overly skeptical attitude of the EU and the staleness of the US has resulted in an "unconstructive" and "regrettable" outcome.
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told AFP on Wednesday that the JCPOA negotiation talks intended to lift sanctions on Iran and bring the US back into the nuclear deal are in "stalemate".
"I am afraid that with the political situation in the US, and so many directions without being conclusive, now we are going to stay in a kind of stalemate," Borrell said.
Over the past year and a half, efforts have been mobilized to revive the JCPOA deal after then-President Donald Trump, with encouragement from then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, had America withdraw from it in 2018 - stating that the agreement was "a horrible one-sided deal that should have never, ever been made," claiming that "it didn't bring calm, it didn't bring peace, and it never will."
The consequences of this quickly ensued with Iran revoking some of its commitments by turning off monitoring cameras operated by the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). It also increased its stock of enriched uranium but only to fulfill the country's electricity and power needs, according to AEOI spokesperson Bahruz Kamalvandi.
In August, Borrell laid out a "final draft" for the deal, which he described as "the best equilibrium point between the positions of everybody."
But Iran is standing by its demands toward the IAEA to stop accusing Tehran of not providing sufficient information on three "undeclared" nuclear sites.
"The Islamic Republic of Iran has been fully cooperative regarding the three alleged sites brought up by the agency and has sent information and answers to the agency's questions and has also held meetings to resolve the ambiguity," Kamalvandi said on September 13.
With the upcoming midterm congressional elections in November in the US, the change in the political climate is likely to make the JCPOA deal harder to reach
According to Borrell, "The proposals were converging but unhappily, after the summer, the last proposals are not converging -- they are diverging."
He added, "The last proposals from the Iranians were not helping because we were almost there, then new proposals came and the political environment is not the most propitious. I am sorry to say, but I don't expect any breakthrough in the next days."
While other key protagonists, namely Britain, France, and Germany, expressed skepticism about Iran's seriousness to reach a "good, strong, sustainable deal", Iran called the joint declaration "unconstructive" and "regrettable".
All this despite Iran's offer to assist EU countries with their needs amid the current energy crisis in Europe.
Borrell told AFP that there was nothing else he could put forward to clear the impasse.
"From my side, I don't have anything more to propose," he said.