France, Germany, and the UK released a joint statement on Saturday accusing Iran of not taking the negotiations to revive the nuclear deal seriously.
The three European countries, who are all signatories to the nuclear deal, criticized Tehran’s demand for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to close its inquiry into uranium traces found at undeclared Iranian nuclear sites.
“This latest demand raises doubts as to Iran’s intentions and commitment to a successful outcome on the JCPOA,” the three countries said. “Our position remains clear and steadfast. Iran must fully and, without delay, cooperate in good faith with the IAEA.”
Iran’s foreign ministry hit back at the statement, saying it was “unconstructive” and that the European countries should be working to reach a deal. “The three European countries are advised to play a more active role in providing solutions to end the few disagreements that remain,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said.
The IAEA opened its investigation into uranium traces at Iranian nuclear sites years ago. While the traces are not a proliferation risk, the IAEA hasn’t been happy with Iran’s explanations and won’t drop the inquiry.
Prospects for reviving the JCPOA seem slimmer by the day as Israel is confident that its efforts to sabotage the deal have worked. The European criticism of Iran is another sign there won’t be a breakthrough.
The current negotiations were brought about by an EU push to get sanctions lifted on Iran to bring its oil back to the global market as Europe is facing soaring energy prices thanks to the US-led sanctions campaign against Russia. Josep Borrel, the EU’s foreign policy chief, said last week that the agreement was in “danger.”