The election of hardline cleric Ebrahim Raisi as Iran's president has stalled nuclear talks.

Iran nuclear deal becoming ’empty shell’

Major powers and Iran have yet to get down to business at talks on rescuing the 2015 nuclear deal, which will very soon become “an empty shell” without progress, senior British, French and German diplomats say.

“As of this moment, we still have not been able to get down to real negotiations,” the diplomats from the so-called E3 said in a statement about the Vienna nuclear negotiations in which they are shuttling between US and Iranian officials.

“Time is running out. Without swift progress, in light of Iran’s fast-forwarding of its nuclear program, the JCPoA will very soon become an empty shell,” they added, referring to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

The statement offered a pessimistic assessment of efforts to revive the deal under which Iran had limited its nuclear program in return for relief from US, European Union and UN economic sanctions.

Then-president Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the accord in 2018 and reimposed US sanctions, prompting Iran to begin violating its nuclear restrictions in 2019.

His successor Joe Biden has sought a mutual return to compliance with the deal via indirect talks with Iran in which officials from other parties to the deal shuttle between them because Tehran refuses to meet directly with American officials.

Read the article by Francois Murphy in Perth Now and The Young Witness.