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French source links Iran’s ‘intensifying provocations’ to stalled nuclear talks

PARIS — Talks between Iran and world powers over reviving the 2015 nuclear deal are currently in a state of deadlock, a French diplomatic source says, expressing pessimism over the prospects of progress.

The talks have stalled since mid-March as negotiators seek to return to the landmark accord that curtailed the Islamic republic’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

“The negotiations are at a point of deadlock,” says the source, adding a deal had been ready back in March but had “slipped away” due to a dispute over the status of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.

“We are quite pessimistic. Iran has made a mistake by playing down the clock,” says the source, who asks not to be named.

After Paris earlier confirmed two more French citizens had been arrested in Iran, the source says the lack of progress on the nuclear issue is coinciding with the “intensifying provocations” by Iran.

“Right now there is an interest in returning to the agreement but it will not always be that way,” says the source.

EU diplomat Enrique Mora, who chairs the negotiations, is currently in Iran for talks with Iranian officials.

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