Iran Nuclear Talks Need To Be Suspended- European Union Foreign Secretary
The European Union’s foreign policy chief says “a pause” is needed in ongoing talks over Iran’s tattered nuclear deal with world powers, blaming “external factors” for the delay.
The comments by Josep Borrell came on Friday as a plan appeared imminent for the United States to rejoin an accord it unilaterally withdrew from in 2018, and for Iran to again limit its rapidly advancing nuclear programme.
While Borrell did not elaborate, his statement also came as Russia last week tied the ongoing negotiations to sanctions Moscow faces over its war on Ukraine.
“A final text is essentially ready and on the table,” Borrell wrote on Twitter. “As coordinator, I will, with my team, continue to be in touch with all #JCPOA participants and the U.S. to overcome the current situation and to close the agreement.”
The JCPOA, or the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, is the 2015 nuclear deal’s formal name. Talks have been going on for months in Vienna over trying to come up with a way to revive the deal.
Iran’s foreign ministry said on Friday a pause in talks with world powers to revive the deal could help the negotiations.
“Pause in #ViennaTalks could be a momentum for resolving any remaining issue and a final return. Successful conclusion of talks will be the main focus of all,” ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Twitter.
“No external factor will affect our joint will to go forward for a collective agreement.”
On Thursday, State Department spokesman Ned Price said the US was “close to a possible deal – it’s really down to a very small number of outstanding issues”.
But last week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said he wanted “guarantees at least at the level of the secretary of state” that the US sanctions would not affect Moscow’s relationship with Tehran.
That threw into question the months of negotiations held so far on restoring the deal, which saw Iran agree to drastically limit its enrichment of uranium in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.