Germany urges quick action as ‘intense’ Iran talks resume
Germany on Saturday urged parties involved in trying to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal to move quickly as indirect talks between Iran and the U.S. over the Obama-era deal resumed in Europe.
“Playing for time is in no-one’s interest,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told Reuters in an interview.
The European Union, along with Iran, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany, met in Vienna, Austria for a sixth round of talks on the deal, which limited Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for sanctions being lifted.
President Trump withdrew the United States from the deal in 2018 and reinstated sanctions, prompting Tehran to increase its nuclear production.
EU foreign policy official Enrique Mora, who is the lead coordinator of the talks, is serving as the intermediary between Iran and the U.S. as Iran has refused to negotiate with the U.S. in-person, according to Reuters.
An EU spokesperson told reporters that “negotiations are intense” and that several issues, including how to carry out the plan once finalized, still remain, Reuters reported.
Russian envoy Mikhail Ulyanov said that while he would like to see a plan organized quickly, he wants to make sure the final product is worth the wait.
“All participants reiterated their determination to bring the negotiations to a successful conclusion. All of us want to do it ASAP, but the quality of an outcome document comes first,” Ulyanov tweeted on Saturday.
Ulyanov said that they would need to take several more weeks to finish a deal, according to Stephanie Liechtenstein, a journalist based in Vienna.
Some European diplomats are concerned that it might be harder to make a deal before Iran’s presidential election on June 18, Bloomberg reported.
Adding to pressures to get an agreement coordinated, GOP senators introduced legislation on Friday that would require Senate approval for any deals done with Iran regarding their nuclear program. If passed, the move could complicate President Biden’s ability to negotiate a deal with Iran through his administration.