Caution On Nuclear Deal With Iran As G7 Leaders Vow To Stop Bomb

VIENNA — Outside the European Union, diplomats warned Sunday that reviving a historic nuclear deal with Iran will take more time, as leaders of the Group of Seven affluent nations reiterated their determination to prevent the Islamic republic from developing nuclear weapons.

Iranian envoys met with international delegations in Vienna for another round of talks, a day after EU coordinators hinted that divisions over the 2015 nuclear deal had narrowed even more. However, Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Abbas Araghchi, told Iranian state media that he did not believe an agreement would be reached in the next week. A Russian ambassador also stated that additional time was required to iron out the specifics.

The Vienna meetings attempt to re-establish a nuclear-containment pact between Iran and key international countries, which the Trump administration pulled out of in 2018.

After a three-day conference in southwest England that ended Sunday, US President Joe Biden and other G-7 leaders voiced support for the Vienna process. Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States make up the G-7.

In a joint statement, the leaders stated, “We are determined to ensuring that Iran never develops a nuclear weapon.”

“A fully executed and restored (nuclear deal) might open the door for further addressing regional and security concerns,” according to the statement.

In exchange for easing US sanctions, Iran would return to pledges made in 2015, aimed at making the development of a nuclear weapon difficult.

Since the United States backed out of the deal, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken claimed on CBS’ “Face the Nation” that Iran has been “galloping forward” with its nuclear goals and breaking the conditions of the agreement.

“It gives me a sense of urgency to see if we can put the nuclear problem back in its box,” Blinken added.

The bilateral consultations on Sunday came after top officials from China, Germany, France, Russia, and the United Kingdom conducted combined consultations on Saturday. The United States was not involved in any way.

A tiny demonstration was conducted outside the famous Vienna Opera House, near the downtown hotel where the discussions are taking place, by an Iranian pro-opposition organization. Local police in Austria’s capital, Vienna, told the organizers not to demonstrate outside the hotel, according to the organizers. The event came to a calm conclusion.

In a previous version, the surname of Iran’s deputy foreign minister was misspelled as Araghchi, not Araqchi.

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