EU: No nuclear deal unless Iran comes clean about past weapons research

As the deadline for the negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 powers nears, the ability to finalize a nuclear deal appears to be growing more distant.

and AP
Iran nuclear negotiations

The US and Iranian teams during one of the negotiation sessions. (REUTERS/Brendan Smialowski)

The European Union (EU) has warned Tehran that it must cooperate with a stalled International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) probe if serious about finalizing a nuclear deal that would include the removal of sanctions on Iran.

Regarding suspicions that Iran had worked on producing atomic weapons, the Islamic Republic has denied any such effort and has fended off IAEA demands for cooperation with its investigation. The EU statement says getting to the bottom of the allegations “will be essential” to a nuclear deal.

The cautionary EU statement comes ahead of the June 30th target date for sealing an agreement. It was obtained by Associated Press ahead of its delivery at a meeting of the UN’s IAEA, which opens Monday.

The IAEA essentially stalled its multi-year probe of Iran’s past activities and has stated that more cooperation is needed from Tehran for full clarity on its ongoing program. Without it, the IAEA cannot “conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities” and that it has not researched and developed military nuclear capabilities.

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No Trust Between Negotiating Parties

Abbas Araghchi

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi. (

In the meantime, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi stated Saturday that there remains no trust between the two negotiating sides.

“Distrust underlies these negotiations and this is a reality. We don’t trust the other side at all and the other side doesn’t either,” Araghchi, a senior figure in the nuclear talks, said, according to the Iranian Fars News. The so-called “snapback” provisions that immediately reimpose sanctions on Iran if it is caught breaching the deal could serve both sides, he added.

“Thus all the provisions in a deal… whenever each party feels the other side is violating the commitments, they can snap back and implement whatever existed before the agreement,” he explained, alluding to Iran’s return to unchecked development of its nuclear capabilities.

Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani described the last-ditch efforts by Tehran and the world powers to reach an agreement as “sensitive” and said on Sunday that many differences remain to be ironed out before a final nuclear deal could be completely drafted.