EU’s Borrell cites progress in nuclear deal talks

April 19, 2021 - 21:47

TEHRAN - Josep Borrell, The European Union’s top diplomat, said on Monday he saw a willingness to save the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and global powers, citing progress in talks in Vienna to bring the United States back to the accord.

The optimism follows comments by China’s envoy to the negotiations, Wang Qun, on Saturday that negotiations were starting to pick up pace.

"I think that there is real good will among both parties (Iran and the United States) to reach an agreement, and that's good news," Reuters quoted Borrel as saying, citing progress but not giving details.

"I think that both parties are really interested in reaching an agreement, and they have been moving from general to more focused issues, which are clearly, on one side sanction-lifting, and on the other side, nuclear implementation issues."

The second round of talks began last Thursday in the basement of a luxury hotel in Vienna. The United States is not present as Iran has declined face-to-face negotiation, but EU officials are carrying out shuttle diplomacy with a U.S. delegation based at another hotel across the road.

Borrell said that his political director Enrique Mora, who is chairing the talks, had gone back to Vienna after returning to Brussels on Friday.

Iran has breached many of the deal's restrictions on its nuclear activities in response to the U.S. withdrawal and reimposition of sanctions against Tehran under former U.S. President Donald Trump. Negotiators are working on steps both sides must take, on sanctions and nuclear activities, to return to full compliance.

Diplomats from Iran and the remaining parties to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal have entered the stage of drafting a new agreement to revive the nuclear deal, the Russian envoy to the Vienna nuclear talks said on Monday.

In a tweet on Monday, Russia’s representative to the international organizations in Vienna Mikhail Ulyanov also said, “Summing up the results of 2 weeks of deliberations on JCPOA restoration we can note with satisfaction that the negotiations entered the drafting stage. Practical solutions are still far away, but we have moved from general words to agreeing on specific steps towards the goal.”

EU foreign ministers discuss JCPOA

The Council on Foreign Relations of the EU was to hold a meeting on Monday night with the 2015 Iran nuclear deal as one of the topics on the agenda.

The meeting was to be chaired by Borrell.  The meeting was to be held in the form of a video conference with participation of EU foreign ministers.

“The EU foreign ministers will meet this evening at a meeting of the Council on Foreign Relations, chaired by Joseph Borrell, the EU's foreign policy chief, to discuss recent developments and future developments. These issues will include recent developments in Georgia, India, Myanmar, Mozambique and the JCPOA negotiations,” according to the European Union website.


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