Contradicting Iran’s FM statement that Iran’s lead nuclear negotiator, Ali Bagheri, would go to Brussels for discussions Thursday, the EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Monday that the bloc will not hold talks in Brussels on Thursday with Iran on restarting negotiations over the country’s nuclear deal, Euractiv reports.
Bagheri met with EU envoy Enrique Mora in Tehran Last week to discuss a firm date for resuming talks, after which the Iranian Foreign Ministry said they agreed to continue the dialogue in the coming days in Brussels.
Borrell also noted that the EU, which acts as coordinator for the deal, has made clear to Tehran that time is not on their side and that it is better to return to the negotiation table as soon as possible, stressing he’s willing to meet with Iran’s representative bilaterally before restarting talks in Vienna if they need any clarifications.
The EU has been seeking to restart talks aimed at reviving the 2015 pact that was limiting Tehran’s nuclear ambitions in exchange for sanctions relief, but began to fall apart after former president Donald Trump pulled the US out of it in 2018
After US President Joe Biden signaled willingness to come back on board and lift sanctions imposed by Trump, negotiations got under way in Vienna in April but were suspended since June, when Iran elected its news, ultraconservative president Ebrahim Raisi.
Raisi stressed on Monday that Iran backs talks with six major powers that are result-oriented, underlying at the same time that the unjust US sanctions imposed on Iran must be lifted.
Borrell, who visited Washington last week, agreed with the US administration to continue his work on securing exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear deal and noted the need to return to the Vienna talks soon.
US State Department spokesman Ned Price also called on Iran to promptly resume the talks on reviving the nuclear accord, pointing that the destination the US seeks is in Vienna, not an intermediate step in Brussels and that the mutual return to compliance remains in American interests.
Taking a tough line toward Iran on Wednesday along with the Israeli and EU officials, US officials reiterated they would consider all options if Tehran fails to revive the 2015 nuclear deal.