UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!

Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

[ rfe/rl banner ]

German Chancellor Presses Iran To Accept European Proposals To Revive Nuclear Deal

By RFE/RL September 12, 2022

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on September 12 that he does not expect an agreement soon with Iran in negotiations to restore its nuclear deal with world powers unless Tehran accepts the latest proposals put forward by Germany, France, and Britain.

Scholz said the three European powers "have made proposals, and there is no reason now for Iran not to agree to [them]."

France, Germany, and Britain urged Iran on September 10 to agree to a proposed relaunch of the pact, saying final texts of a deal have been readied, but Iran "has chosen not to seize this critical diplomatic opportunity."

The three European governments said in a joint statement that Iran has instead raised "separate issues" and "continues to escalate its nuclear program way beyond any plausible civilian justification."

If Iran doesn't accept the proposals, an agreement on the revival of the deal "certainly won't happen soon," Scholz said on September 12, speaking after a meeting in Berlin with Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid.

The German leader said that, while the European countries "remain patient," he reiterated their position that an international agreement to limit and monitor the Iranian nuclear program "is the right way" to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

Lapid insisted that restoring the 2015 agreement would be a mistake.

"It is time to move past the failed negotiations with Iran," which he said can't and won't achieve the goal of stopping Iran getting a nuclear weapon. He added that he had given Scholz "sensitive and relevant intelligence information on this subject."

Iran said earlier on September 12 that it was ready to continue to cooperate with the UN nuclear watchdog but called on the agency "not to yield to Israel's pressure" over Tehran's nuclear activities.

"Iran announces its constructive cooperation with the agency as its obligation...While Iran has obligations, it also has rights," Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani told a televised news conference.

"Naturally Iran expects constructive actions from the IAEA and the members of its governing board," Kanaani said, referring to the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Kanaani called the weekend statement from the three European countries "unconstructive." He said the United States and Europe "should prove that they do not prioritize the interests of the Zionist regime (Israel) when taking political decisions."

The IAEA's Board of Governors is scheduled to meet on September 12 amid reports that Iran has developed a new drone that it says could target cities in Israel.

Three months ago the board adopted a resolution urging Iran to give credible answers to the agency's investigations into uranium traces at three sites in Iran and amid ongoing efforts to save the 2015 pact to limit Iran's nuclear activities.

European countries have mediated indirect talks between Washington and Tehran to revive the pact which then-U.S. President Donald Trump exited in 2018 before imposing strict economic sanctions on Tehran.

Iran says its nuclear program is peaceful and that the IAEA investigations are politically motivated.

The IAEA said on September 7 that it believes Iran has further increased its stockpile of uranium that is highly enriched to one short, technical step away from weapons-grade levels.

In June, the IAEA censured Iran for traces of uranium that had been found at three undeclared sites in 2019. Iran dismissed the IAEA motion as "politicized," and responded by removing surveillance cameras at key sites, which deprived negotiators of up-to-date information on the country's uranium enrichment program.

Meanwhile, Iran announced on September 12 that it has developed an advanced long-range suicide drone designed to hit the Israeli cities of Tel Aviv and Haifa, the semiofficial Mehr News quoted the chief of Iran's ground forces as saying.

Brigadier General Kiomars Heidari said the drone, named Arash-2, is a newer version of Arash-1.

With reporting by AP and Reuters

Source: https://www.rferl.org/a/iran-nuclear-activities-jcpoa- israel-drone/32029451.html

Copyright (c) 2022. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list