Iran's foreign minister has asked the European Union to help mediate in its dispute over the nuclear deal with the United States. Both sides have previously insisted that the other must act first in reviving the pact.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the European Union could play a mediating role in the dispute with the United States over Tehran's nuclear program.
Zarif said EU Foreign Affairs Minister Josep Borrell could coordinate a synchronized return of Washington and Tehran into a nuclear deal, in comments during a CNN interview on Monday.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has previously demanded that the US make the first move in settling the dispute as it was Washington that pulled out of the deal.
It has threatened to block inspections of its nuclear facilities by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) if the US does not return to the accord, which also included Britain, France and Germany, as well as Russia and China.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned on Monday that the dispute won't be resolved overnight.
"If it decides to come back into the agreement — that may take some time, then it's gonna take us some time to assess whether they, in fact, had made good on their obligations," Blinken told NBC News.
The deal, brokered by the Obama administration, promised Iran relief from economic sanctions if it limited its nuclear program to make it harder to develop nuclear weapons.
Zarif's latest comments may be laying the groundwork for talks on reviving the deal, analysts said.
"It is entirely unsurprising to me that we are hearing, amid a largely uncompromising position from the Iranians, occasional breadcrumbs that will enable them" to enter into a negotiation, said Suzanne Maloney of the Brookings Institution.