G7 leaders pledge to halt Iran's nuclear plans amid caution on 2015 deal talks

Tehran and Russia suggest agreement unlikely to be reached this week

Leaders of the wealthy G7 nations reaffirmed their commitment to stop Tehran building nuclear weapons as talks on the revival of the 2015 nuclear deal were still some way from a breakthrough.

"We are committed to ensuring that Iran will never develop a nuclear weapon," the summit communique said.

"We urge Iran to stop and reverse all measures that reduce transparency and to ensure full and timely co-operation with the International Atomic Energy Agency."

Diplomats involved in the process said negotiations with Iran to save the nuclear deal needed more time as talks resumed in Vienna over the weekend.

Iranian envoys held a round of negotiations with international delegations a day after EU co-ordinators suggested that differences over the 2015 accord limiting Iran's nuclear activities had narrowed.

"We welcome the substantive discussions between Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) participants, and separately with the United States, to accomplish a return of the United States and Iran to their JCPoA commitments," the G7 meeting in the UK said. "We support the goal of restoring the non-proliferation benefits of the JCPoA and of ensuring the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme."

The meeting added to pressure on Iran on its cross-border aggressions. "We condemn Iran’s support to proxy forces and non-state armed actors, including through financing, training and the proliferation of missile technology and weapons. We call on Iran to stop all ballistic missile activities and ... refrain from destabilising actions and play a constructive role in fostering regional stability and peace."

Canada welcomed a demand from the G7 to reveal what happened when the Iranian's shot down a passenger jet over its capital in 2020. "We support efforts to pursue transparency, accountability and justice for the victims of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752, shot down by Iran" it said.

The statement also backed Baghdad's efforts to curb Iran-controlled militias. "We welcome the efforts of the government of Iraq to hold illegal armed groups accountable for attacks against Iraqi citizens and coalition personnel who are in Iraq," it said.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi told state media he thought a deal was unlikely to be agreed on this week.

A diplomat from Russia also said more time was needed to work out details.

The Vienna meetings are aimed at rebuilding a nuclear agreement between Iran and major world powers, from which the US withdrew in 2018.

US President Joe Biden and other G7 leaders expressed support for the Vienna process after a three-day summit in south-west England that ended on Sunday.

The G7 nations are Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US.

Iran is expected to return to commitments made in 2015, aimed at making the development of a nuclear weapon impossible, in exchange for lighter US sanctions.

Sunday’s bilateral meetings followed joint negotiations held on Saturday involving senior diplomats from China, Germany, France, Russia and Britain. The US was not directly involved.

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Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants

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Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

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Our legal consultant

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants

Our legal consultant

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants

Our legal consultant

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants

Our legal consultant

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants