G7 leaders say Tehran failed on nuclear deal as group condemns Iran

World’s seven wealthiest democracies will stand by Ukraine 'as long as it takes'

Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly chat after the G7 working session. Getty Images
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The world’s seven wealthiest democracies have said Iran has not made the “necessary decisions” on a nuclear deal, despite “many months of intense negotiations”.

In a statement issued on Friday, the Group of Seven said Iran has failed to return to the table to discuss the nuclear agreement, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which puts limits on the country's nuclear programme in exchange for sanctions relief.

“We note that despite many months of intense negotiations on a return to the JCPOA, Iran has not made the necessary decisions,” they said.

They “strongly rejected” Iran’s practice of detaining dual and foreign citizens, while also condemning Tehran's continued “destabilising activities” in and around the Middle East.

The G7 — an informal bloc of industrialised democracies made up of the US, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the UK — also pledged to “stand firmly with Ukraine for as long as it takes”.

Ukraine and its western allies have accused Iran of sending “kamikaze” drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), to Russia, which have been used to devastating effect in attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure.

Iran denies the charge.

Kyiv said last week that Ukrainian forces had shot down more than 300 Iranian-made drones so far.

Iranian-made drones have reportedly damaged up to 40 per cent of Ukraine's power system and Ukrainian authorities warned residents that they may face hours of electricity cuts due to limited supplies.

The G7 also said any use of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons by Russia would be met with “severe consequences” and renewed their call on Moscow to end its war.

“Russia's irresponsible nuclear rhetoric is unacceptable,” the G7 foreign ministers said in a statement after two days of talks in the German city of Muenster.

A G7 official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the group agreed to co-ordinate their support for repairing, restoring and defending Ukraine's critical energy and water infrastructure.

Flags wave on the walls in Muenster during the G7 Foreign Ministers Meeting. AFP

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba joined the G7 discussion via video link.

“They discussed what needs Ukraine was facing as it heads into the winter and agreed that there needed to be a G7 co-ordinating mechanism to help Ukraine repair, restore and defend its critical energy and water infrastructure,” a G7 official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told reporters.

“That's something that will be a core focus of this group in the days and weeks ahead.”

The countries also discussed the state of the battlefield to figure out which weapons to provide to Kyiv, although this time the focus was more on assistance that would allow Ukraine to defend itself from the intensifying Russian attacks on its energy and water infrastructure, said the official.

The assistance the G7 provides will allow Kyiv to defend itself against and respond to Russian attacks on civilian infrastructure, the official said.

The group also said it remained “seriously concerned” about the situation in and around the East and South China Seas and it aimed for “constructive co-operation” with China.

It also “reaffirmed” the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.

The group said it strongly condemned recent missile launches by North Korea.

“We, the G7 members, strongly condemn the unprecedented series of unlawful ballistic missile launches,” the foreign ministers from the G7 countries said in a joint statement.

It added that “any nuclear test or other reckless action must be met with a swift and united and robust international response.”

Updated: November 04, 2022, 2:55 PM