France, Britain: Iran Needs to be More Flexible

France and Britain tell UN that Iran has not demonstrated sufficient flexibility in nuclear talks with six world powers.

Arutz Sheva Staff,

Bushehr nuclear reactor
Bushehr nuclear reactor

France and Britain said on Thursday that Iran has not demonstrated sufficient flexibility in nuclear talks with six world powers.

According to Reuters, the remarks were made at the United Nations. They came just after the completion of another inconclusive round of negotiations in Geneva this week between Iranian officials and the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China.

Iran's deputy foreign minister, Abbas Araqchi, said following the talks that they had been "very useful and helpful" and that the next round was scheduled for next month.

Senior French diplomat Philippe Bertoux told the UN Security Council on Thursday, however, "In spite of insufficient flexibility demonstrated at this stage by Iranian negotiators, we'd like to believe that Iran does seek a long-term agreement."

"We would expect that Iran takes strategic choices and courageous decisions" in upcoming rounds of negotiations, he added.

Senior British diplomat Michael Tatham echoed his remarks, urging Iran to be more flexible.

The French UN mission posted on Twitter on Thursday that "new ideas submitted during the talks in Vienna deserved careful consideration by the P5 + 1 members." Most of the nuclear negotiations have been held in Vienna.

Western officials say Iran has not compromised on major sticking points, including the size and scope of its future uranium enrichment program and the speed of ending sanctions.

Deputy U.S. Ambassador David Pressman said Washington would not talk with the Iranians indefinitely without results.

"While we continue to believe that the best way to achieve our goals is thorough diplomacy, we are not going to sit at the negotiating table forever," he said, according to Reuters.

Pressman added that the 15-nation Security Council's sanctions committee should continue monitoring implementation of UN sanctions.

Despite making progress, the two sides failed to clinch a definitive deal by a November deadline and agreed to extend the talks for another seven months.

A final agreement is aimed at ensuring Tehran will never develop nuclear weapons under the guise of its civilian activities, and would lift international sanctions that have crippled Iran's economy.

Iran denies that it is seeking the bomb and insists its nuclear activities are for solely peaceful purposes.

Before the talks were extended, Iran had been toughening its stance, with Araqchi saying he sees no prospect for a deal unless the other side abandons its “illogical excessive demands”.

A senior Iranian official followed those comments by declaring that Iran will demand that all Western sanctions be lifted as part of a final deal, rejecting an American proposal of a gradual lifting of sanctions.