A joint statement from Britain, France and Germany issued on Tuesday said "we are rapidly reaching the end of the road" to save the 2015 Iran nuclear deal after the Iranian side accused the West of stoking a "blame game" atmosphere.
"Iran’s continued nuclear escalation means that we are rapidly reaching the end of the road," France’s ambassador to the United Nations, Nicolas de Riviere, announced. He added that Iran's consistently blowing past development and uranium enrichment limits all while blaming the US for pulling out of the deal means "We are nearing the point where Iran’s escalation of its nuclear program will have completely hollowed out the JCPOA."
After talks resumed this month, following a lengthy stall since June, each side has accused the other of being unwilling to compromise. Tehran has maintained all along that Washington must drop its Trump era sanctions, or else it remains out of conformity with the 2015 JCPOA.
Defense officials on either side have also issued threats and counterthreats, which many onlookers have interpreted as aimed at building leverage. But simultaneously the Biden administration has lately appeared on the edge of abandoning the Vienna negotiations altogether, with officials citing Iran's lack of "seriousness". This as Israeli leaders have been lobbying hard to put a 'military option' in place.
Crucially, Iranian leaders themselves appear to be in agreement with the three European nations' claim of the Islamic Republic rapidly escalating its nuclear capabilities as talks go nowhere. Tehran maintains it's program is purely for peaceful domestic energy purposes, however.
Some actors persist in their blame game habit, instead of real diplomacy.— علی باقریکنی (@Bagheri_Kani) December 14, 2021
We proposed our ideas early, & worked constructively & flexibly to narrow gaps; diplomacy is a 2 way street. If there's real will to remedy the culprit's wrongdoing, way for quick good deal will be paved. https://t.co/I2CO1bQxO0
At the same time, according to Bloomberg, Iran appears to be easing its stance on the IAEA's monitoring mission, after Tehran began suspecting that some on-site UN monitoring cameras may have been hijacked by the Israelis:
Talks with the IAEA about the nuclear watchdog’s access to the Karaj facility have made progress and "narrowed gaps over several issues of mutual interest," state-run Press TV reports late Tuesday, citing Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh. "I can anticipate that the two sides reach an understanding soon."
Iran has gradually ramped up its uranium enrichment up to 60% purity, including employing advanced centrifuges, over much of the past year - alarming Western signatories to the JCPOA, as well as Israel - which has accused the Iranians of seeking an atomic bomb.
According to Al Jazeera, this is where things stand amid talks this week: "Iran has said it has also prepared a third document on its demands for the verification of sanctions-lifting and guarantees the US would not renege on the JCPOA again, which will be presented after an agreement is reached over the initial two texts."