EU’s Borrell in Tehran for JCPOA talks

June 24, 2022 - 13:36

TEHRAN – European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrel arrived in Tehran on Friday night for talks with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian and other Iranian officials dealing with the Vienna talks intended to revive the 2015 nuclear deal.

The talks to restore the nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), began in April 2021. However, the talks have been on hold since March. The negotiating partners say most technical issues have been resolved and it is time for Iran and the U.S. to take political decisions.

“I am travelling to Tehran, as coordinator of the JCPOA, to meet my counterpart Amir Abdollahian and other relevant Iranian authorities,” Borrel tweeted on Friday.

Borrell and his deputy Enrique Mora have been acting as intermediary between Iran and the United States to restore the nuclear deal.

Iran has been insisting that the U.S. should lift all sanctions that have been imposed since former U.S. president Donald Trump abandoned the JCPOA in May 2018, delist the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) from foreign terrorist organizations and give assurances that it will not quit the agreement again.

Borrell said, “Diplomacy is the only way to go back to full implementation of the deal and to reverse current tensions.”

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh also issued a short statement on Friday saying the visit by Borrell will take place within the framework of current talks between Iran and the EU, the status of negotiations for lifting sanctions on Iran as well exchange views on certain regional and international issues.

The news of Borrell’s visit to Tehran comes a day after the Iranian foreign minister expressed hope that the Vienna talks would resume soon.

Amir Abdollahian and Borrell, whose official title is High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, have been holding regular phone conversations on the JCPOA.

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