French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna speaks during a press conference in New York City, on September 19, 2022

No better nuke deal offer on the table for Iran, French FM says

Paris's top diplomat urges Tehran to accept final text penned by European powers; Iranian source says in no hurry to rejoin pact as 'nuclear program is advancing every day and this time is on our side'

Reuters |
Published: 09.19.22, 22:37
France's foreign minister said on Monday that there would not be a better offer for Iran to revive a nuclear deal with world powers and it was up to Tehran to decide now because the window to find a solution was closing.
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  • Months of indirect talks between Iran and the United States have foundered over several issues, including Tehran's insistence the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) close an investigation into uranium traces found at three undeclared sites before the pact is revived, and a U.S. guarantee that Washington would not walk out of any nuclear agreement again.
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    French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna speaks during a press conference in New York City, on September 19, 2022
    French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna speaks during a press conference in New York City, on September 19, 2022
    French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna speaks during a press conference in New York City, on September 19, 2022
    (Photo: AFP)
    "There will not be a better offer on the table and it's up to Iran to take the right decisions," Catherine Colonna told reporters on the sidelines of the United Nations' General Assembly in New York, adding that no initiatives were underway to unblock the situation.
    Western diplomats have said there are no active negotiations at the moment and it was unlikely that a breakthrough could happen before the U.S. midterm elections in November. They have accused Iran of going backward in the talks, something Tehran denies.
    "There are indications that the IAEA intends to close the case of the three sites," Iran's nuclear chief Mohammad Eslami said in remarks carried by Iranian state media on Monday. "We hope that they will be honest and do not waste more time in order to pressure Iran."
    European officials have been adamant that Iran must give credible answers to the IAEA's questions, fearing that if the issue was swept under the carpet it could weaken the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty, the framework to halt the spread of nuclear weapons-making capability.
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    centrifuge machines in the Natanz uranium enrichment facility in central Iran
    centrifuge machines in the Natanz uranium enrichment facility in central Iran
    Uranium enrichment centrifuges at a nuclear facility, in Natanz, central Iran
    (Photo: AP)
    Colonna said the United States and its European partners shared an identical position on the question of resolving an investigation.
    Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, who addresses world leaders at the UN on Wednesday, said on Sunday that Iran would be serious about reviving the nuclear deal if there were guarantees the United States would not again withdraw from it as it had done under President Donald Trump.
    The U.S. has offered certain guarantees for 2.5 years, diplomats said, but is unable to go beyond that.
    A source close to Iran's nuclear team said Tehran had lost interest in reviving a deal that can only last 2 years.
    "Our nuclear program is advancing every day and this time is on our side. Let them be worried about it," the source said.
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