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Asharq Al-Awsat
Asharq Al-Awsat
Paris - Michel Abu Najm

Paris Warns of Consequences of Not Signing Nuclear Deal

The EU foreign policy chief and the British Foreign Secretary on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Germany. (AFP)

Three days after European Union envoy Enrique Mora visited Tehran in a bid to help restart the 2015 nuclear deal, a French source expressed pessimism over the prospects of progress.

Talks to revive the deal with world powers have been on hold since March, chiefly over Tehran’s insistence that Washington remove the Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) from the US list of designated terrorist organizations.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said that Mora’s trip had gone “better than expected.”

“The negotiations had stalled and now they have been reopened,” Borrell told reporters on the sidelines of a G7 meeting in Germany.

“There is a perspective of reaching a final agreement.”

Borrell said “disagreements on what to do about the IRGC” had hampered progress in the talks for two months.

He said Mora had taken the EU's message to Tehran “that we couldn't continue like this.”

“The answer has been positive enough,” Borrell affirmed.

However, this optimism doesn’t seem to prevail among the European parties to the accord.

In a meeting with some journalists, a senior French official source gave a less optimistic reading of the course of the political process.

Paris, one of the three European capitals that signed the 2015 deal and participated in the Vienna negotiations in Europe, along with London and Berlin, confirms that the text of the agreement is ready to be signed.

The source stressed that the ball is currently in Iran’s court, noting that it is time for Iranian authorities to put an end to this matter and take a final decision on whether it will sign the deal or not.

Paris, along with Western capitals, accuses Iran of engaging in “nuclear blackmail” by introducing the IRGC matter and sanctions waiver.

According to the diplomatic source, Tehran knows that the current US administration cannot respond to its demands and will certainly have hard time passing it in the Congress.

Insisting on this demand, albeit it is not part of the 2015 deal, would hinder reaching a final agreement, the source noted.

The source pointed to another factor that obstructs the process.

He said that returning to a deal with the amendments made to it will launch a new dynamic of openness and gradual normalization between Iran and world countries, which would change the internal political and social balances in Iran.

Therefore, Paris says this shift concerns most of the hardliners in Iran, who are currently holding the grip of power in the country.

The source further warned Iranian authorities of the consequences of failing to reach a final agreement with the world powers. He did not elaborate.

Nevertheless, Washington and western and regional parties will most likely escalate in this case, either by imposing new financial and economic sanctions on Iran, removing the Iranian financial system from the global cycle or by waging a war to halt the development of its nuclear program.

To spare the region and the world such tragic developments, Paris called on Iranian officials to seize the available opportunity and sign the agreement.

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