Brussels (Brussels Morning) Josep Borrell, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, said the Iran nuclear deal talks would not continue this week. He pointed out that the foreign ministers of China, France, Germany, Russia and the UK have tentatively planned to get together later in the week during the opening session of the UN General Assembly, Reuters reports.
Borrell, a coordinator for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), observed that “some years it happens, some years it doesn’t happen.”
“But the important thing is not this ministerial meeting, but the will of all parties to resume negotiations in Vienna”, he added, while noting that he plans to meet with Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian on Tuesday. The High Representative said he will urge Amirabdollahian to resume the JCPOA talks as soon as possible.
Negotiators have met six times as part of indirect JCPOA talks between the US and Iran, in hopes of finding a way to return to compliance with the nuclear deal that was signed in 2015. At the instigation of former President Trump, the US withdrew from the deal in 2018.
Iran claims programme is peaceful
After the US withdrawal from the agreement, Iran started to breach the restrictions the pact applied to its nuclear programme while insisting that it is developing the programme for peaceful purposes only.
Indirect talks in Vienna were adjourned in June due to the presidential election in Iran, which resulted in Islamist Ebrahim Raisi assuming the office in August.
“After the elections, the new presidency asked for the delay in order to fully take stock of the negotiations and understand better everything about this very sensitive file”, Borrell said while noting that “the summer has already passed by and we expect that the talks can be resuming soon in Vienna.”
Earlier, Jean-Yves Le Drian, France’s Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, said “we need to take advantage of this week to restart these talks”, stating that “Iran must accept to return as quickly as possible by appointing its representatives for the negotiations.”