Iran says EU’s Mora to visit Iran on Thursday

October 13, 2021 - 19:3

TEHRAN – Iran has confirmed press reports that a senior European diplomat leading the Vienna talks over Iran’s nuclear program will pay a visit to Iran on Thursday.

Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said in a statement on Tuesday that European Union deputy foreign policy chief Enrique Mora will visit Iran on Thursday as previously planned.

Khatibzadeh said the trip follows consultations between the two sides on issues of mutual interest, including Iran-European Union relations, Afghanistan and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the official name for the 2015 nuclear deal.

Consultations and contacts between the two sides have never been halted and are constantly ongoing on different issues, and this trip also takes place in the same framework, the foreign ministry spokesman explained.

Earlier, BNN Bloomberg reported that Mora is expected to fly to Tehran as soon as this week to seek an agreement to restart the nuclear talks between Iran and world powers after months of delays.

Western nations including the U.S. and Germany have repeatedly warned they’re not willing to wait forever for a new round of talks to begin after the last one stalled in June.

Citing officials familiar with the matter, BNN Bloomberg said Mora is expected in the Iranian capital for talks within days.

Shuttle diplomacy between the participants in the talks -- China, France, Germany, Russia, the U.S. and U.K. -- has picked up recently, and a restart of broader talks could happen within the next three weeks, they said. 

Peter Stano, a spokesperson for the European Commission, declined to comment on any travel plans, saying it was part of the work of officials to see partners around the world. On the Iran negotiations, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has stressed repeatedly that “it is urgent to resume the Vienna talks very soon,” and the Iranian foreign minister had promised him a swift return to negotiations, Stano said.

Ali Bagheri Kani, the deputy foreign minister of Iran, also confirmed the visit on Twitter on Wednesday. 

“In continuation of the recent regional and international consultations, I will host Enrique Mora, Deputy Director of the EU [External] Action Service, tomorrow. Discussions on bilateral and regional issues, including Afghanistan, as well as talks on lifting oppressive sanctions are on the agenda,” Bagheri tweeted. 

Vienna nuclear talks between Iran and world powers have been put on hold since June due to a number of reasons including Iran’s undergoing transition period emanating from its recent presidential election.