France FM says window to revive Iran nuclear deal closing soon

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France’s new foreign minister said on Tuesday there were only a few weeks before the window of opportunity to revive Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers would close.

Speaking to lawmakers, Catherine Colonna said the situation was no longer tenable and accused Iran of using delaying tactics and going back on previously agreed positions during talks in Doha earlier this month, while forging ahead with its uranium enrichment program.

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“There is still a window of opportunity...for Iran to finally decide to accept an accord which it worked to build, but time is passing,” Colonna said, warning that if Iran kept on its current trajectory it would be a threshold nuclear arms state.

“Time is passing. Tehran must realize this,” she said, adding that the US mid-term elections would make it even harder to seal a deal.

“The window of opportunity will close in a few weeks. There will not be a better accord to the one which is on the table.”

Last week, the US envoy for the talks to reinstate the deal said Iran had added demands unrelated to discussions on its nuclear program during the latest talks and had made alarming progress on enriching uranium.

Under the 2015 nuclear pact, Iran limited its uranium enrichment program, a potential pathway to nuclear weapons, though Tehran says it seeks only civilian atomic energy, in return for a lifting of international sanctions.

In 2018, then-US President Donald Trump abandoned the deal, calling it too soft on Iran, and reimposed harsh US sanctions, spurring Tehran to breach nuclear limits in the pact.

Western officials have repeatedly said that the talks between world powers and Iran only had a few weeks to conclude a deal, with Colonna’s predecessor Jean-Yves Le Drian even saying in February it was just a question of days.

Read more: Presidents of Russia, Iran, Turkey to meet in Tehran next week: Kremlin

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