25, June 2022
European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell met Iran’s top diplomat on Saturday after arriving in Tehran for talks on efforts to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
The surprise visit by Borrell, who arrived in the Iranian capital on Friday night, is aimed at getting the talks back on track three months after they stalled amid differences between Iran and the United States.
“Diplomacy is the only way to go back to full implementation of the deal and to reverse current tensions,” Borrell tweeted.
Borrell went into a meeting with Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in the morning and was expected to hold talks with other Iranian officials later in the day, said the official news agency IRNA.
The Iran nuclear deal has been hanging by a thread since 2018, when then US president Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the accord and began imposing crippling economic sanctions on America’s arch enemy.
The administration of incumbent US President Joe Biden has sought to return to the agreement, saying it would be the best path with the Islamic republic.
The US pointman on Iran, Robert Malley, “reiterated firm US commitment to come back to the deal” over a meal with Borrell on the eve of his trip, according to the EU’s coordinator for the talks, Enrique Mora.
“We remain committed to the path of meaningful diplomacy, in consultation with our European partners,” Malley said later on his official Twitter account.
The talks, which began in April last year, aim to return the United States to the deal, including through lifting sanctions, while ensuring Iran’s full compliance with its nuclear commitments.
The negotiations stalled in March amid differences between Tehran and Washington, notably over a demand by Iran to remove its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps from a US terror list.
“We are ready to conclude this agreement, and urge Iran to seize this diplomatic opportunity to conclude now, while this is still possible,” a French foreign ministry spokeswoman said on Friday.