The EU sees the reopening of nuclear talks with Iran, but the US is cautious

Iran’s top nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani receives EU envoy Enrique Mora in the capital Tehran on May 11, 2022.

The European Union said on Friday it had unblocked stalled talks with Iran after a mission to Tehran, but the United States raised questions about whether it was enough to revive a nuclear deal.

EU envoy Enrique Mora visited Tehran this week in a bid to help restart the 2015 nuclear deal, two months after slow negotiations in Vienna to bring Iran and the United States back into compliance broke down.

“Negotiations had stalled and now they have been reopened,” Borrell told reporters on the sidelines of a G7 meeting in Germany.

President Joe Biden has backed a return to the deal torn apart by his predecessor Donald Trump, but has been thwarted by demands from Iran.

“All that said, at this point,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said, “the deal is far from uncertain.”

“We and our partners are ready, we have been for some time, but now it really depends on Iran.”

The latest diplomacy comes against the backdrop of protests in Iran after President Ebrahim Raisi, a hardline cleric, imposed austerity measures to tackle an economy battered by soaring inflation and US-led sanctions.

Mora has also lobbied the clerical state to release a Swedish-Iranian academic, Ahmedreza Djalali, who faces execution for allegedly passing information on Iranian nuclear scientists to Israel’s Mossad spy agency, which led to their murders.

The 2015 deal gave Iran sanctions relief in exchange for restrictions on its nuclear program to ensure it could not develop a nuclear weapon, something Tehran has always denied wanting to do.

Iran responded by reversing its own compliance with the deal, prompting threats from arch-rival Israel that it could take military action if its nuclear work progresses too far.

But a key point is Iran’s demand that the United States revoke Trump’s designation of the elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps from a terrorism blacklist.

He said Mora had brought the EU’s message to Tehran “that we couldn’t go on like this.”

“These kinds of things can’t be solved overnight. Let’s say things were locked and unlocked.”

“A good and credible agreement is available if the United States makes a political decision and sticks to its commitments,” Amir-Abdollahian wrote on Twitter.


Originally published as EU eyes Iran nuclear talks reopening, but US wary

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