Parties to Iran’s nuclear deal made little progress on Wednesday toward saving the agreement as Iran is still breaching many of its central terms in response to U.S. sanctions, but efforts to ease Tehran’s economic pain continued, delegates said.
Wednesday’s meeting of senior officials came more than a month after European parties to the deal - France, Britain and Germany - formally accused Iran of violating its terms, setting off a process that could eventually reimpose international sanctions lifted under the agreement.
But, in a move underlining how torn the Europeans are between pressuring Iran not to breach the deal and still trying to save it, the European Union’s foreign policy chief said this month the powers would indefinitely extend the time limits in that process to avoid having to reimpose sanctions.
Delegates said that process, known as the dispute resolution mechanism, was not even discussed at Wednesday’s meeting, though the Europeans did criticize Iran.
“Serious concerns were expressed regarding the implementation of Iran’s nuclear commitments under the agreement,” the EU foreign policy service’s Secretary General Helga Schmid, who chaired the meeting, said in a statement.
“Participants also acknowledged that the re-imposition of U.S. sanctions did not allow Iran to reap the full benefits arising from sanctions-lifting,” she added.