The visit to Iran by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, gives a boost to the nuclear negotiations between Tehran and the West. As the European diplomat announced after his meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahain, the two have agreed to resume talks in the coming days.
"It has been three months since the Vienna talks were halted. We need to break the current dynamic of escalation and step up work. We need to reach an agreement now," Borrell wrote on his Twitter account.
Amir-Abdollahain, meanwhile, said Iran is ready to resume talks aimed at reviving the deal, stressing that diplomacy is the "best solution". However, he also pointed out that "any problem that could affect our interests is not acceptable to the government".
The main obstacles to negotiations between Washington and Tehran are the sanctions imposed against the Iranian regime and the status of the Revolutionary Guard, which is considered a terrorist organisation in the United States.
Other countries involved in the negotiations have commented on Borrell's relevant trip to Iran. The French foreign ministry has urged Tehran in a statement to "seize this diplomatic opportunity while it is still possible".
Prior to the trip, Borrell met in Brussels with Enrique Mora, deputy secretary general of the European External Action Service, and the US special envoy for Iranian affairs, Robert Malley. As Mora indicated on his Twitter feed, during the meeting they discussed the nuclear agreement and the prospects in the Middle East. He also assured that Malley reaffirmed the US commitment to return to the nuclear agreement.
Dinner in Brussels with EU High Representative @JosepBorrellF and US Special Envoy for Iran @Rob_Malley . In depth conversation about #JCPOA and regional perspectives in the wider Middle East. Malley reiterated firm US commitment to come back to the deal. pic.twitter.com/vsdezTRQjM— Enrique Mora (@enriquemora_) June 23, 2022
On the other hand, before Borrell's arrival in Tehran, Amir-Abdollahain received the Russian Foreign Minister, Serguei Lavrov, in the Iranian capital. The two diplomats agreed to "further improve bilateral cooperation", according to Amir-Abdollahain. They also discussed regional and international issues and concluded that "arbitrary and extraterritorial sanctions are illegitimate".
Substantial talks w FM Lavrov to further enhance 🇮🇷🇷🇺 cooperation. Also discussed regional & int'l developments.— H.Amirabdollahian امیرعبداللهیان (@Amirabdolahian) June 23, 2022
Both stressed that arbitrary & extraterritorial sanctions are illegitimate.
We agreed to intensify joint efforts to expedite full implementation of our agreements. pic.twitter.com/kEqhwZccYE
During the joint press conference, the Iranian minister insisted that all sanctions imposed on Tehran must be removed to revive the agreement, and blamed the US for the disruption of the talks.
Since former US president Donald Trump's 2015 decision to break the Iran nuclear deal and impose more sanctions against Tehran, the Persian country has greatly accelerated its uranium enrichment process while energy agencies fear it could develop nuclear weapons.
In early June, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) warned that Iran could soon acquire the coveted atomic bomb. The UN-linked organisation has also accused Tehran of a lack of transparency. In response, the Iranian government decided to turn off 27 surveillance cameras at several nuclear facilities.