Iran and Russia furious with Europe over nuclear talks

Iran slammed a joint statement by France, Germany and Britain criticizing Iran's conduct in the ongoing nuclear talks.

 Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov shakes hands with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian during a joint news conference in Moscow, Russia August 31, 2022. (photo credit: REUTERS/MAXIM SHEMETOV/POOL)
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov shakes hands with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian during a joint news conference in Moscow, Russia August 31, 2022.
(photo credit: REUTERS/MAXIM SHEMETOV/POOL)

Iran expressed resentment over a joint statement by France, Germany and Britain on Saturday night criticizing Iran's conduct within the framework of the ongoing nuclear negotiations. Iranian officials were outraged by the wording of the statement, which said that "unfortunately, Iran has chosen not to take advantage of this critical diplomatic opportunity, and instead, it continues to escalate its nuclear program far beyond any justification."

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani said that the statement was "not constructive," and called on the three signator countries "to be more active in finding solutions to the few differences of opinion that remain."

Kanani expressed regret that the European powers "are taking a step in the direction of Israel, which wants the nuclear talks to fail. Their joint statement was made in an ill-considered manner, and the responsibility for the consequences, if any, rests with them."

Russia's response to the joint statement

Dimitri Ulyanov, Russia's representative for the Iran nuclear negotiations, also criticized the wording of the joint statement, claiming that it was "very hasty." He added that "the current barrier in the talks does not constitute a serious obstacle in the negotiations."

 US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks at a sideline meeting of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty review conference in New York City, New York, US, August 1, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/DAVID 'DEE' DELGADO) US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks at a sideline meeting of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty review conference in New York City, New York, US, August 1, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/DAVID 'DEE' DELGADO)

"If we reach the agreement, it will only be to advance our national security."

Secretary of State Antony Blinken

On the American side, they reacted with restraint following the recent developments, and Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that even though several gaps between the parties have been closed in recent weeks, Iran's conduct constitutes a setback in the negotiations "when it continues to make demands outside the agreement." Despite this, he added that "if we reach the agreement, it will only be to advance our national security."

In the meantime, the US Treasury announced the imposition of new sanctions against Tehran, including various sanctions against the Iranian intelligence ministry—a move that also drew condemnation from Iranians.