By Mohammad Homaeefar

Iran threatens to exit nuclear deal if talks become a ‘waste of time’

May 27, 2018

TEHRAN – Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi warned on Sunday that Iran would naturally leave nuclear deal negotiations with the Europeans if it deems them “unnecessarily protracted” or a “waste of time”.

The remarks by Araqchi came one day before EU foreign ministers meet in Brussels to discuss policy on Iran. 

Speaking to reporters, Araqchi said the Islamic Republic has not yet decided whether it would remain in the nuclear agreement or not, Mehr reported.

Iran is in talks with the European Union on the fate of the nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), after Trump pulled the U.S. out of the multilateral deal on May 8. 

On Friday Araqchi held talks with political directors from the E3 (the European Union trio of Germany, France and Britain) on the JCPOA. The meeting, held in Vienna, was chaired by Helga Schmidt, secretary general of the EU's foreign policy service. 

“Deciding on this matter is subject to negotiations over the next few weeks with current members of BARJAM (a Persian acronym for the JCPOA),” Araqchi said.

Since Trump left the nuclear accord Iran has been seeking assurances that its economic interests are protected, otherwise it will resume its suspended nuclear activities.

According to Araqchi, Tehran had demanded that European signatories of the JCPOA take appropriate measures to guarantee Iran’s benefits from the deal in the aftermath of U.S. withdrawal “and present their suggestions, guidelines and operational solutions with relevant assurances to Iran so that we can decide.”

“We will proceed with negotiations as long as we feel the negotiations are moving in the right direction and are within Iran’s time limit,” the Iranian diplomat added.

MH/PA

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