Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Wednesday that a decision on salvaging the 2015 agreement was just days away, but that it was now up to Iran to make the political choice.
“We have reached tipping point now. It’s not a matter of weeks, it’s a matter of days,” Le Drian told parliament, adding that the Western powers, Russia and China were in accord on the outlines of the accord.
Tehran has pushed back on the need to establish a fixed deadline for the nuclear negotiations to conclude. Iranian officials have rejected western diplomats’ remarks about a deadline for reaching an agreement in Vienna talks, and stressed Tehran is only after a good agreement.
“Political decisions are needed from the Iranians. Either they trigger a serious crisis in the coming days, or they accept the agreement which respects the interests of all parties,” he continued.
“We are coming to the moment of truth. If we want Iran to respect its (nuclear) non-proliferation commitments and in exchange for the United States to lift sanctions, there has to be something left to do it,” Le Drian said.
Iran says the ball is in the court of the United States over nuclear dispute, and Washington must remove the anti-Tehran sanctions.
Western diplomats say they are now in the final phase of the talks and believe that a deal is within reach.
China’s envoy to the talks has also stated Iran was being constructive by putting everything on the table in response to U.S. approaches.
“They have not only adopted this straightforward approach but also made a political decision based on give and take,” Wang Qun told Reuters on Wednesday.
Intensive diplomatic talks continue in the Austrian capital of Vienna between Iran and the P4+1 group of countries to discuss all possible ways to salvage the 2015 nuclear deal by removing all sanctions imposed by Washington against Tehran.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry Hossein Amir Abdolahian has stated it was “in a hurry” to strike a new deal as long as its national interests were protected and that restoring the pact required “political decisions by the West”. He added Iran’s initiatives have paved the ground for achieving an agreement in Vienna, but the Western parties to the negotiations need to choose “responsible behavior” in order for a final deal to take shape.
The secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council says the U.S. and Europe have failed the test of fulfilling their commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, JCPOA.
Ali Shamkhan said in a tweet that the JCPOA is now an empty nutshell in terms of economic benefits and sanctions removal. He promised that Iran will not hold any negotiations with the “unfaithful” U.S. and Europe beyond the JCPOA.