Status quo on the Iran nuclear deal

What was the outcome of the crisis meeting in Vienna?

Following the United States‘ withdrawal from the 2015 accord last year and Iran’s breach of restrictions on its enrichment of uranium, a crisis meeting in Vienna has been convened on 28 July 2019. The 2015 nuclear deal contains among other things a controlled reduction of Iran’s uranium stock. In return, Western sanctions are to be defused.

The meeting was attended by representatives of Iran, France, Germany, China, Russia and the United Kingdom. Their common objective was to preserve the agreement. During the negotiations the EU called on Iran to adhere to the conditions of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) after the country has exceeded the agreed quantitative limit. Instead of a maximum of 300 kg, 24 tonnes of uranium have been enriched. At the same time, the Iranian government demanded a compensation of the US sanctions.

In addition to this infringement another complication lead to a rather subdued mood during the talks. Iran heavily criticised Great Britain’s proposal for a naval mission, after a British oil tanker has been impounded by the country. According to the Iranian representative, the presence of European fleets would cause even more tensions and send a negative signal. Germany’s government remains vague about this plan, whereas France has already offered to provide the necessary information and the according coordination of the forces stationed in the country.

As reported by the representatives, the meeting was still productive and efficient and all the participants would back the compliance with the JCPOA, despite a temporarily tense atmosphere. Additionally a further meeting on this issue with the respective Foreign Ministers has been scheduled. A firm date has not been set yet.