France’s new foreign minister said on Tuesday there were only weeks left to revive the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, although a senior US official said Washington had not fixed deadline. Catherine Colonna told lawmakers the situation was no longer tenable. She accused Iran of using delaying tactics and, during talks in Doha two weeks ago, of reneging on previously agreed positions while continuing its uranium enrichment programme.
“There is still a window of opportunity … for Iran to finally decide to accept a deal it has worked to build, but time is running out,” Colonna said, warning that if Iran continues on its path current trajectory, this would be a threshold nuclear weapons state. “Time is running out. Tehran needs to realize that,” she said, adding that the US midterm elections would make it even more difficult to strike a deal.
“The window of opportunity will close in a few weeks. There won’t be a better deal than the one on the table.” When asked if the United States agreed with Colonna’s view, a senior U.S. official pointed to Monday’s comment by White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan to reporters according to which “we have not marked a date on the calendar”.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, the senior US official acknowledged that the chances of reaching an agreement were diminishing and said Washington had heard nothing new from Tehran since the indirect talks in Doha. “Every day that passes without a deal makes a deal less likely,” the official said. “We haven’t heard anything since Doha that is a change from Doha.”
Last week, the US envoy for the talks said Iran had added unrelated demands to the latest indirect talks and had made alarming progress on uranium enrichment. Under the 2015 nuclear pact, Iran limited its uranium enrichment program, a potential route to nuclear weapons, though Tehran says it seeks only civilian atomic energy, in exchange for a waiver. international sanctions.
In 2018, then-US President Donald Trump scrapped the deal, calling it too soft on Iran, and reimposed harsh US sanctions, prompting Tehran to breach the pact’s nuclear limits for about a year. later. Western officials have repeatedly said talks between world powers and Iran have only weeks to conclude a deal, with Colonna’s predecessor, Jean-Yves Le Drian, saying in February that it was a matter of days.
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