Mora expected to come up with new initiative in Tehran: report

May 8, 2022 - 17:53

TEHRAN – The European Union coordinator of the Vienna talks is expected to present a new “American-European initiative” to push the stalled talks forward, an Arab news outlet said. 

Enrique Mora, the EU coordinator of the talks, will arrive in Tehran on Tuesday for talks on the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Citing Iranian sources familiar with the matter, Qatari newspaper Al Araby Al-Jadeed said Mora was about to visit Tehran a few weeks ago, but the latter did not show enough desire to complete the visit, "because it did not bring anything new in response to Iranian demands regarding the remaining issues."

The Iranian sources added that the approval of Mora's visit "came after a European talk about the existence of what could be considered a U.S.-European initiative to push the negotiations towards resolving the remaining issues," but stressed that they did not know the details of the initiative.

The sources explained that "Iran is seeking to push the negotiations forward and move the stagnant waters to reach a strong agreement," noting that it had agreed to the visit with this motive.

They said that the EU coordinator will stay in Tehran until next Friday, and during the days of the visit, he will engage in intensive rounds of negotiations with the chief Iranian negotiator, Ali Bagheri Kani, in addition to other meetings with Iranian officials including Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian.

The sources attributed the reason for Mora's stay in Tehran for about four days to intensive negotiations that he will conduct in the Iranian capital, in addition to the fact that he will also wait for the final Iranian response to crystallize on the initiative he brought to Tehran to resolve the remaining issues in order to carry the response to the American side.

Nour News, which is close to the Iranian Supreme National Security Council, reported that Mora will visit Iran on Tuesday to meet with Iranian officials.

The news website said the visit “can be a new step for constructive consultations on the few, but important, remaining issues.”

It said there is still a possibility of making a deal. “Reaching a strong, lasting, and reliable agreement is possible but requires realism on the part of Washington and learning lessons from the mistakes that created today’s complicated circumstances,” the website said.

Nour News said the U.S. is to blame for the prolongation of the talks as it is seeking to extract concessions through political pressure on Tehran but such a policy will not produce a change in Iran’s principled positions.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told the Financial Times on Saturday that he was seeking a “middle way” to end the impasse over the IRGC designation.

Borrell said he had wanted Mora to visit Tehran to discuss the issue, but added that Iran “was very much reluctant.” He described the diplomatic push as “the last bullet.”

According to the British newspaper, Borrell is considering a scenario whereby the designation on the Guards is lifted, but kept in place on other parts of the organization.

Iran is waiting for the U.S. to make political decisions regarding the talks but if Iran comes to a conclusion that waiting is not helpful it will withdraw from the talks, according to an Iranian lawmaker sitting on the parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee.

The lawmaker, Mehdi Saadati, said that Iran does not intend at present to withdraw from the talks in Vienna.

He told the Arabic-language Iran News Agency website that “as for the negotiations, we are still waiting for a decision from the United States to revive the agreement, and we do not intend to withdraw from the negotiating table unless we reach a definitive conclusion that waiting will never help.”

Saadati added, “In recent weeks, Washington has not presented anything new and insisted on direct negotiations with Tehran.”

He concluded, “If the Americans want to negotiate directly with us, they must first of all show their goodwill, and this is what we have repeatedly told them.”

The talks over reviving the JCPOA has come to a standstill in March after the U.S. refused to delist the IRGC, among other issues. 

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