Q: Are you hoping to return to Vienna this week for negotiations on the Iranian nuclear issue?
A: Our goal remains the rapid conclusion of an agreement on the return of the United States to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JPCoA) and of Iran to its commitments under that agreement. Time is of the essence. Time is of the essence because Iran is continuing its nuclear program, and its trajectory is extremely worrying. On December 1, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported that Iran had undertaken an effort to produce twice as much nuclear material enriched to 20% and is continuing to produce uranium enriched to 60%.
Time is of the essence because five and a half months after Iran suspended negotiations, they have still not really resumed. We are disappointed that talks were unable to resume last week. Indeed, the proposals presented by Iran last week do not constitute a reasonable basis compatible with the goal of a swift conclusion in the interests of all. Apart from Iran, none of the delegations wanted to see negotiations to resume on that basis.
It is therefore important for the Vienna negotiations, which were suspended for a few days to allow for consultations in the various capitals, to resume swiftly. All of the JCPoA’s participants asked the European Coordinator at a Joint Commission meeting held on December 3 to propose a resumption date for this week.