EU to Make Fresh Push to Salvage Iran Deal
European officials are preparing to make a fresh push to salvage a nuclear deal with Iran, offering to send a top European Union negotiator to Tehran in an effort to break a stalemate in talks. Enrique Mora, the European Union coordinator of the negotiations, has told Iranian counterparts he is ready to return to Tehran to open a pathway through the deadlock. So far, Iran hasn’t responded with an invitation.
Iran has gradually scaled back its compliance with the 2015 deal, in response to former US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the agreement in May of 2018, but has held several rounds of indirect talks with current US leaders on a return to the agreement.
Negotiations nearly reached completion in March before Moscow demanded that its trade with Iran be exempted from Western sanctions over Ukraine, throwing the process into disarray. The deal has also run into trouble in recent weeks over Iranian demands that the US lift its designation of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) as a terrorist organization.
Western diplomats say they want to put the onus back on Iran, making it clear the talks could end unless Iran offers a way through the standoff. The opening for the talks came during an April 23 call between Iran’s foreign minister and his EU counterpart. Mora will try to persuade Iran to sign off on a final text of the agreement without the foreign terrorist designation and leave that issue to a future point, diplomats said.
The diplomats added that if Iran comes back with a demand for a US concession on another issue, Washington will consider that. However, the diplomats also said there can be no broad renegotiation of the deal.
“God, we ask that You protect the world from terrorism and stop Iran’s aggressive actions.”