NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (R) and Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, Brussels, Brussels, July 12, 2021


Russia has distanced itself from Iran’s latest positions on compliance with nuclear agreements. Mikhail Ulyanov, the Russian Ambassador at the Vienna nuclear talks, said in an interview with the Russian newspaper Kommersant:

Ulyanov said the nuclear talks have “covered 90% of the path” but the remaining “10% contains a number of politically sensitive issues that can hold the process back”.

He said “no one” knows when the discussions will resume, as the incoming administration of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi “need time to figure this out”.

ORIGINAL ENTRY: Iran has condemned NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg over his call for Tehran to observe its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

On Monday, Stoltenberg met Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid. He then “restressed Allies’ continued calls on Iran to uphold and fully implement all its obligations under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and its safeguard agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency”.

Iran has refused to extend its agreement with the International Atomic Energy, which expired June 24, over inspections of nuclear facilities.

Amid talks over the future of the 2015 nuclear deal, Stolenberg also appealed to Iran to “refrain from all activities” inconsistent with an accompanying UN resolution.

Seeking an end to all American sanctions if the US re-enters the agreement, Tehran has broken its terms through enrichment of 20% and even 60% uranium.

See also Iran Reviews State of Nuclear Talks — When Will They Resume?

Iran’s mission to the European Union said in a statement that it was “astonished” by Stoltenberg’s meeting with a “foreign official”, refusing to name Lapid.

The mission said Stoltenberg had no “moral high ground” to issue his remarks, as Israel is not a member of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. It claimed the NATO head’s action “flouts international humanitarian law and violates the fundamental human rights of the people”.

The statement did not address the issues of Iran’s relationship with the IAEA or the nuclear talks, instead telling Stoltenberg that he should concentrate on Israeli accession to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and “refrain from such misguided calls on Iran”.