The U.S. has warned time is running out to revive a 2015 accord with Iran that would lift sanctions in return for limiting its nuclear work.
A sixth round of negotiations ended inconclusively in June and no date’s been set for the next one after a transition of power in Iran complicated diplomacy.
The international community is in a very difficult situation, Merkel stated.
Although the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden has sought a return to the deal, “the days go by without Iran giving any indications that it wants to restart the talks”, while it continues sensitive uranium enrichment work.
“This is a very critical situation,” she noted at a news conference in Jerusalem with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.
“There are very, very decisive weeks ahead of us,” she added.
Western countries and Israel suspect the program is aimed at making a bomb. Iran denies it.
“The message to Iran is unambiguous: There must be a quick return to the negotiating table,” Merkel said.
The original deal was not ideal but it was better than nothing, she added.
Bennett reiterated Israel’s position that a revived nuclear accord would embolden Iran.
Merkel, who will leave office soon, said the new German government will remain committed to Israel’s security, a position it’s taken for decades to try to atone for the country’s Nazi past. She also added Israel’s settlement policy has made a two-state solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict difficult.
In September, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh stated the 4+1 group of countries that remain party to the JCPOA will resume nuclear negotiations in Austrian capital Vienna within the next few weeks.
During the last official meeting with the president and the cabinet members of the twelfth government in late July, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has said that one key lesson for future administrations to learn from the experience gained during the tenure of Hassan Rouhani is that there is no benefit in putting one’s trust in the west.
“The others should use your experience,” Ayatollah Khamenei told the meeting, adding, “There is a specific experience… that I have noted to you and the people many times before, and let me repeat the same thing here, which is [the need for] a lack of trust in the west.”
“This is an experience that the posterity should use. As it became manifest during the tenure of this administration, nothing can be gained from putting one’s trust in the west,” the leader stated.
The leader added that domestic programs should in no way be tied to western states under any circumstances due to the proven failure of such an approach.
“Wherever you tied your work to the west, you failed, and wherever you rose and moved forward without trusting the west, you succeeded,” he said in an address to members of the outgoing administration.
“Wherever you tied issues to an agreement or talks with the west, America and the like, you failed to move forward,” he said, adding, “Because they don’t help. They are the enemies, of course.”
“The Americans say [in words] and promise that ‘we will remove the sanctions’ but they have failed to do so,” stressed the leader, denouncing the US attempts to add new terms to the agreement to push Iran to begin talks on other issues.
By adding such a clause, according to the leader, the Americans are seeking to gain an excuse for further meddlesome acts regarding the JCPOA, Iran’s missile program and regional issues.
“And if Iran refuses to talk about [those issues], they would say ‘you have violated the JCPOA and therefore there won’t be an agreement anymore,’” he stated.
Ayatollah Khamenei drew attention to the fact that the US has refused to provide Iran with a guarantee that it will not violate its commitments again.
He noted that Washington will not shy away from violating its contractual commitments in the same manner it did in 2018, a move that was “completely costless” for them.