Middle East

Borrell announces reopening of Iran nuclear deal negotiations

European Union (EU) foreign policy chief Josep Borrell announced on Friday that he had “reopened” negotiations on reviving the nuclear deal, which has been at a standstill for several years.

“The negotiations were stalled, and now they have been reopened,” Borrell confirmed from Wangels in northern Germany, where he is attending a G7 foreign ministers meeting.

Borrell refers to the outcome of the talks that took place the day before between the EU’s coordinator for Iranian nuclear negotiations, Enrique Mora, and Iran’s chief negotiator, Ali Bagheri, to relaunch the 2015 agreement.

Meanwhile, Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani held talks with Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi regarding the same issue.

“It has gone better than expected”, according to Borrell, after negotiations were suspended for two months because of differences over what to do with the Revolutionary Guards.

One of the main sticking points is Tehran’s demand that the US remove the Revolutionary Guards from the list of terrorist organisations.

“These things cannot be resolved overnight. Let’s say the negotiations were blocked and they have been de-blocked,” added Borrell.

Borrell explained that Mora conveyed the EU’s message to the Iranian negotiators that matters cannot continue in this manner and stressed that the Iranian response was very positive.

The EU foreign policy chief also noted there was a possibility of reaching a final agreement.

Borrell did not comment on the EU negotiator being “briefly detained” by German customs at Frankfurt airport, during which he was in contact with the European Commission.

Negotiations that began a year ago in Vienna between Tehran and major powers to relaunch the 2015 agreement have been on hold since March.

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