EU and Iran to hold nuclear talks in Brussels this week

EU negotiator reveals plans to revive international talks over Iran's nuclear deal

Deputy Secretary General and Political Director of the European External Action Service (EEAS), Enrique Mora,
addresses the media as he leaves the 'Grand Hotel Wien' where closed-door nuclear talks with Iran take place in Vienna, Austria, Wednesday, June 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Lisa Leutner)

The EU's top negotiator will meet a representative from Iran this week in Brussels for talks on restarting negotiations over Tehran's nuclear deal, a spokesman for the bloc said on Monday.

The EU and world powers are trying to revive negotiations in Vienna aimed at getting the 2015 accord back on track after the election of hardline Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi.

Iran's chief negotiator on the deal, deputy foreign minister Ali Bagheri, wrote on Twitter that he would be in Brussels on Wednesday "to continue our talks on result-oriented negotiations".

EU spokesman Peter Stano said the meeting would involve the bloc's lead negotiator, Enrique Mora, who visited Tehran this month to press Iran into restarting full negotiations.

Mr Stano said the EU's diplomatic service was "sparing no efforts to resume talks of all parties in Vienna".

In Washington, State Department spokesman Ned Price said the US was "very supportive" of the EU engagement.

"That said, the ultimate destination needs to be Vienna," Mr Price said.

The agreement between Iran and world powers to find a long-term solution over its nuclear programme has been moribund since former US president Donald Trump withdrew the US in May 2018 and imposed sweeping sanctions.

His successor, Joe Biden, has said he is ready to re-enter the agreement, as long as Iran meets key conditions including full compliance with the deal.

Tehran has repeatedly breached terms by increasing nuclear activities since the US left the pact.

But the Vienna-based talks through intermediaries made little headway, before being interrupted by the election of Mr Raisi and suspended for the past four months.

The US's lead negotiator, Rob Malley, earlier on Monday renewed a warning that Washington had "other options" if Tehran's nuclear work advances, although he said the Biden administration preferred diplomacy.

The EU acts as co-ordinator for the deal that also involves Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia.

Updated: October 25th 2021, 9:28 PM