Iran confirms EU envoy visit to save stalled nuclear deal talks

May 8, 2022: According to a report by Al Jazeera, the EU’s coordinator for talks on restoring Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers will visit Tehran on Tuesday in an effort to find a solution to a months-long standoff between Tehran and Washington.

Nournews, an outlet affiliated with Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), which leads the nuclear deal negotiations, on Saturday confirmed the upcoming visit by Enrique Mora, the deputy secretary-general of the European External Action Service (EEAS).

“Considering the EU’s role in exchanging viewpoints between Tehran and Washington, Enrique Mora’s trip to Tehran can be regarded as a new step for constructive negotiations surrounding the few but important remaining issues,” the outlet reported.

It did, however, emphasise that Iran has remained in the negotiations despite “the persistence of hostile approaches by the US against our country” that it said goes against the spirit of constructive negotiations.

The talks to restore the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as the deal is formally known, began in April 2021 but have stalled for months as Iran and the United States have failed to reach agreement on a number of limited but crucial issues.

Chief among them is whether the US will lift a foreign terrorist designation on Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Iran has also insisted that ensuring its economic benefits from a revived nuclear deal is on the table, but has not elaborated on the details.

The two sides have, since earlier this year, been passing along messages through the EU coordinator since Iran has refused to directly negotiate with the US after the US unilaterally abandoned the accord in 2018, imposing harsh sanctions.

EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told the Financial Times he is looking for a “middle way” in a diplomatic push described as “the last bullet”.

Iran has continued to maintain that the US must adopt a “realistic” approach by abandoning its “excessive demands”, after which a deal can be quickly reached.

The US, meanwhile, has said Iran needs to provide assurances concerning its regional activities if it wishes for the “foreign terrorist organisation” designation to be revoked and has said the issue that is beyond the nuclear deal.

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