(PresidentialInsider.com)- Last Friday, EU political director Enrique Mora said that Iran is not ready to return to the nuclear talks until its new negotiating team first meets with the EU in Brussels.
Mora, the EU’s chief coordinator for the nuclear talks, met with members of Iran’s nuclear-negotiating team in Tehran on Thursday, four months after discussions in Vienna broke off.
So far, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has refused to resume indirect talks with the United States in Vienna regarding both the US and Iran returning to compliance with the deal which would have Iran curbing its nuclear program in exchange for lifting economic sanctions.
Diplomats from France, Britain and Germany said given Iran’s escalating nuclear activity and the stalled negotiations, Mora’s visit to Iran was coming at a critical time. An official who spoke to reporters anonymously said that a meeting in Brussels was a good idea since Iran is not yet ready to return to the Vienna talks. Meeting in Brussels, the official explained, would give both sides the chance to review the text from June and clarify any questions Iran’s new negotiating team might have.
But not everyone agrees.
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told reporters that a meeting in Brussels isn’t absolutely necessary, adding that Tehran’s new government has had enough time to prepare for talks in Vienna. At the same time, Borrell urges patience “because we cannot afford to fail.”
Western diplomats had hoped the talks would resume before the end of October. However, while Iran has repeatedly claimed that it will return to the Vienna talks “soon,” it has not said when that “soon” might be.
Russia’s ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Mikhail Ulyanov, however, suggested that it would be more prudent for Iran to discuss the Vienna talks in Vienna.
Western diplomats are concerned that Tehran’s new negotiators, selected by its new anti-Western hardliner president, may make demands that are beyond the scope of what was already agreed.
After President Donald Trump pulled out of the deal in 2018 and re-imposed sanctions on Iran, Tehran rebuilt its stock of enriched uranium, refined it to higher levels of purity and installed advanced centrifuges to speed up the process. Despite these actions, Iran denies that they are seeking to build a nuclear bomb.