Thursday, August 18, 2022

EU diplomat likely to visit Iran within days

A top European official is likely to visit Tehran this week, seeking an agreement with Iran over the resumption of the nuclear talks, according to informed officials.

European Union (EU) deputy foreign policy chief Enrique Mora is expected in the Iranian capital for talks within days, according to the officials, who asked not to be identified in line with diplomatic rules.

Shuttle diplomacy between the participants in the talks — China, France, Germany, Russia, the U.S. and U.K. — has picked up recently, and a restart of broader talks could happen within the next three weeks, they stated.

Peter Stano, a spokesperson for the European Commission, declined to comment on any travel plans, saying it was part of the work of officials to see partners around the world.

On the Iran negotiations, the EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell “has stressed repeatedly that it is urgent to resume Vienna talks very soon”, and Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdolahian had promised him a swift return to negotiations, Stano added.

Iranian officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In late September, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh stated the 4+1 group of countries that remain party to the JCPOA will resume nuclear negotiations in Austrian capital Vienna within the next few weeks.

President Ebrahim Raeisi has dismissed the idea of holding negotiations over the revival of the country’s nuclear agreement under pressure, saying such tactics has never yielded the US and Europe any result.

“Negotiation and dialog have always been and will continue to be part of the instruments that are in the service of diplomacy. We do not balk at negotiation and dialog,” he stated early September.

“But the Americans and the Westerners are after negotiation in conjunction with pressure,” he added, “This is while negotiations are there to avoid pressure.”

Such pressure tactics have nothing to do with negotiation, the Iranian chief executive said, adding, “I have directed them (the country’s authorities) to include negotiation on the agenda, but not under the shadow of the pressure that they (the West) are pursuing.”

The United States and the Europeans have experienced this in the past too that applying such tactics to negotiation procedures “do not work,” Raeisi noted.

At the same time the country rules out any such notion as “negotiation for the sake of negotiation” the president stressed.

He, therefore, urged that any interaction of the type reward the country with its expected results, namely the removal of Washington’s oppressive sanctions targeting the Iranian nation.

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