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Amid Russian sanctions demands, European powers warn not ‘to exploit’ Iran nuke talks

The flag of Iran waves in front of the International Center building with the headquarters of the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, in Vienna, Austria, on May 24, 2021. (AP Photo/Florian Schroetter, File)
The flag of Iran waves in front of the International Center building with the headquarters of the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, in Vienna, Austria, on May 24, 2021. (AP Photo/Florian Schroetter, File)

PARIS — Britain, France, and Germany warn against moves to “exploit” the Iran nuclear negotiations — a tacit warning to Russia which is accused of delaying an agreement to gain leverage in its invasion of Ukraine.

Negotiators in Vienna said yesterday they had halted talks despite having almost sealed a deal to revive the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to contain Iran’s nuclear activities.

The setback came after Russia said it was demanding guarantees that the Western sanctions imposed on its economy following its invasion of Ukraine would not affect its trade with Iran.

“Nobody should seek to exploit JCPOA negotiations to obtain assurances that are separate to the JCPOA,” says a statement from the spokespersons for the British, French and German foreign ministries — the three European parties to the negotiations.

“This risks the collapse of the deal, depriving the Iranian people of sanctions lifting and the international community of the assurance needed on Iran’s nuclear program,” they add.

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