Negotiations in Vienna to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA), are “rapidly reaching the end of the road”, warned European negotiators. The negotiators retuned home for the second time after the talks resumed following a long summer break. Negotiators are still committed to constructive efforts and to move at a faster pace. However, media accounts of the discussions on Friday (17 December) said the mood was somber.
In statements to the media, European negotiators said that there are weeks, not months, before the main core achievements from the 2015 are lost. They added that Iran’s nuclear program is more advanced now that it has ever been.
Previously, negotiators said that the talks have been pulled back to the starting point. Read more here. They mentioned that it was difficult to understand Iran’s motives. Iran, on its part, says it is committed to continuing negotiations.
A diplomatic source speaking to Politico Europe said that the new Iranian negotiating team is sticking to dogmatic positions rather than putting forward compromses.
On a positive note, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reached an agreement with Iran to allow the IAEA to re-install its cameras at the Karaj nuclear facility, a centrifuge parts manufacturing facility. However, the IAEA will not have access to the recordings from the cameras which will be installed “after technical reviews by Iranian experts”. Earlier this year, IAEA struck a deal that allowed them to record inside the facility but not to have access to the data.
“The agreement with Iran on replacing surveillance cameras at the Karaj facility is an important development for the IAEA’s verification and monitoring activities in Iran. It will enable us to resume necessary continuity of knowledge at this facility,” IAEA Director-General Grossi said in a statement.
Read about the agreement details here.