Lines of communication will remain open despite the deteriorating relationship, but there are no signs of serious progress towards a deal.
Tehran, Iran – Top foreign policy representatives of Iran and the European Union have signaled that the country’s efforts to revive the 2015 nuclear deal will continue, after they held a meeting in Jordan.
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian and the bloc’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, met on the sidelines of the second meeting of the Baghdad Cooperation and Partnership Conference chaired by Jordan’s King Abdullah on Tuesday.
Iran’s top negotiator in the nuclear talks, Ali Bagheri Kani, and the bloc’s coordinator, Enrique Mora, were also present. Borrell wrote on Twitter after the meeting that it was a “necessary” talk amid “deteriorating Iran-EU relations”.
“Emphasizing the immediate need to cease military support to Russia and internal repression in Iran,” he wrote, adding that the two sides agreed to continue negotiations with the aim of restoring the Action Plan. Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), when the nuclear agreement is officially known. .
Essential meeting with FM Iran @Amirabdolahian in Jordan amid the deterioration of Iran-EU relations
Emphasizes the need for an immediate end to military support to Russia and internal repression in Iran
Agree we must keep communication open and recover #JCPOA on the basis of the Vienna negotiations
– Josep Borrell Fontelles (@JosepBorrellF) December 20, 2022
Negotiations in Vienna to restore the deal that the United States unilaterally abandoned in 2018 began in April 2021 and have been at a stalemate since early September, when Western officials claimed that Tehran made out-of-the-deal demands, which Iran denies.
object that broke out in mid-September and new sanctions that the EU and the United States have imposed on Tehran after a “brutal crackdown” on protesters, in addition to sanctions leveled to punish Tehran’s supply of drones. the alleged rider for Russia in the war in Ukraine, has made the prospect of making real progress unlikely. .
Iran, on the other hand, has impose its own sanctions about the US, EU and UK – another signatory to the nuclear accord along with China, Russia, France and Germany – and has accused the West of being behind the country’s unrest. However, Borrell said earlier this month that issues of protests and Ukraine need to be separated from the nuclear deal, as the bloc “has no better option than the JCPOA to ensure that Iran does not develop a weapon.” nuclear gas”.
Following Tuesday’s meeting in Jordan, Iran’s foreign ministry said Amirabdollahian told Borrell that Iran was ready to finalize nuclear talks “based on a draft that was the result of months of difficult and intensive negotiations.” “. Although unconfirmed, this appears to be an August draft issued by the EU, based on which Tehran and Washington had some initial constructive back-and-forth, but ended up meeting again. deadlock when accusing each other has gone too far.
IAEA Team in Tehran
There is no sign of any serious movement towards what is perhaps the most important hurdle – the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) opens an investigation into nuclear activity at three sites of Iran.
A delegation of the global nuclear watchdog, led by Deputy Director Massimo Aparo, was in Tehran on Sunday and held meetings with the head of Iran’s nuclear agency Mohammad Eslami and other officials. office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Neither the agency nor Tehran has disclosed details of the meeting.
Iran, which insists it is not seeking nuclear weapons, late November significant increase uranium enrichment was enriched to 60% in response to a censorship resolution passed against it at the IAEA board.
After meeting with Borrell on Tuesday, Amirabdollahian also met with Omani Foreign Minister Sayyid Badr Albusaidi, who has previously relayed numerous messages between Tehran and Washington on the nuclear deal.
The United States has publicly insisted that nuclear talks are not currently a priority for the administration of President Joe Biden amid the protests in Iran.
US-based media outlet Al Monitor reported on Monday that lawmakers are preparing legislation targeting Iranian officials and their family members who have been allowed entry into the United States.