L’Iran has a “last chance” to seriously negotiate to save the Iranian nuclear deal, warned the head of British diplomacy, Liz Truss, on Sunday after a G7 meeting which also warned Russia against an invasion of Ukraine. “This is the last chance for Iran to come to the negotiating table with a serious solution to this problem,” insisted the minister, whose country currently chairs the group of great powers.
“There is still time for Iran to come and accept this agreement”, but “this is the last chance”, she insisted, urging Tehran to come “with a serious proposal”. “It is vital that he does it” because “we will not let Iran acquire nuclear weapons,” Liz Truss again hammered at a press conference in Liverpool, in the north of England. .
Indirect negotiations between Iran and the United States, notably through the Europeans, resumed at the end of November in Vienna to try to resuscitate the 2015 agreement supposed to prevent the Islamic Republic from acquiring the atomic bomb. The Americans withdrew from this text in 2018, under the presidency of Donald Trump, who reinstated its sanctions against Tehran, which in response gradually freed itself from restrictions on its nuclear program.
The current President of the United States, Joe Biden, has said he is ready to return to the agreement if Iran also returns to its commitments, but the negotiations which began in April and have just resumed after five months of stop seem deadlocked. The West accused the Iranians of backtracking from the spring. American diplomacy openly suspects the enemy country of wanting to gain time at the same time to develop its nuclear program which brings it closer and closer to the bomb. Washington has warned in recent days that it will not let Tehran adopt this attitude for long, and has confirmed that a still unclear plan B is in preparation. But this is the first time that a member country of the agreement has said that these are the last-ditch negotiations.
The G7 united against Russia
According to Liz Truss, this G7 of Foreign Ministers has also displayed a united front against Moscow, which the West has accused for a few weeks of preparing for a possible invasion of Ukraine, despite the denials of the Kremlin. The Liverpool meeting showed, according to the British Minister, “the very united voice of the G7 countries, which represent 50% of world GDP, and which are very clear” on the fact “that there would be massive consequences for the Russia in the event of an incursion into Ukraine ”. The threat of unprecedented sanctions has been formulated in recent days by Washington, in particular by President Joe Biden who met with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.
An American official present in Liverpool assured Saturday that it was still possible to resolve “through diplomacy” this new Ukrainian crisis. For this, the US government has announced that it is sending its Deputy Secretary of State for Europe, Karen Donfried, to Ukraine and Russia from Monday to Wednesday, in search of “diplomatic progress to end the conflict in the Donbass ”, in eastern Ukraine,“ by implementing the Minsk Agreements ”. These agreements, concluded in 2015 to end the war that broke out a year earlier in this Ukrainian region between the forces of Kiev and pro-Russian separatists, have never been truly respected.
If Russia “decides not to take this diplomatic route”, “there will be massive consequences and a significant price to pay, and the G7 is absolutely united on this,” the American official had already warned. “Not only the countries that were in the room but an even greater number of democratic states would join us to make Russia pay the price”, she added.