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EU: Iran nuclear deal talks have been 'unblocked'

May 13, 2022

After two months of deadlock in efforts to revive the 2015 accord between Iran and world powers, the EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell says there are some positive signs from Tehran.

Enrique Mora, the European Union coordinator of talks to revive Iran's nuclear accord with world powers shakes hands with Iran's top nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani, in Tehran, Iran
Mora (right) met Iran's top nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani (left) in Tehran this week to try to help revive Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powersImage: hamshahrionline

Talks aimed at restoring Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers have "reopened" the European foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said Friday.

Speaking on the sidelines of the G7 meeting in Germany, Borrell said, "the negotiations were blocked and they have been unblocked and that means there is the prospective of reaching a final agreement."

What is the current status of Iran nuclear talks?

Negotiations have been on hold since March, primarily over Tehran's insistence that the United States remove the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps from its list of foreign terrorist organizations. That was unlikely to happen as a bipartisan majority in the US Congress last week warned the White House they were opposed to it.

"These things can not be resolved overnight," Borrell told reporters, but he said Iran's response had been "positive enough" after his coordinator to the Iran nuclear talks, Enrique Mora, visited Tehran.

EU's foreign policy Josep Borrell at a G7 meeting in Germany
Borrell said a ast-ditch effort to save Iran accord unblocked the situation after two months of deadlockImage: Chris Emil Janßen/IMAGO

The 2015 deal, abandoned by President Donald Trump in 2018, sharply limited Iran's nuclear program and submitted to strict international verification in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions.

The broad outline of the deal to revive the accord was essentially agreed in March. After a last-minute Russian demand and the dispute over the US Foreign Terrorist Organization list, it came undone.

With the deal in limbo, Iran has continued enriching uranium beyond agreed limits but insisted it is for peaceful purposes only.

EU envoy Enrique Mora held at Frankfurt airport

Mora was in Tehran in what has been described as the last chance to salvage the deal.

He held two days of meetings with Iran's chief negotiator Ali Bagheri.

On his way back to Brussel Mora was briefly detained with colleagues at Frankfurt airport in Germany.

He wrote on Twitter that he received "not a single explanation" from German authorities for why he was detained.

Mora said German police took his passport and phones. About 20 minutes later he tweeted that he had been released.

lo/rt (AFP, Reuters)