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Iranian nuclear: the EU displays optimism immediately tempered by Washington

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Negotiations were at a standstill and they were reopenedwelcomed the head of European diplomacy Josep Borrell after a delicate mission by his emissary in Tehran – his last cartridge to unlock the talks, in his own words before the trip.

There is a prospect of reaching a final agreement. »

A quote from Josep Borrell, head of European diplomacy

Mr. Borell made the statement in Germany, where he was attending a G7 ministerial meeting.

L’EU coordinates these indirect negotiations which opened a year ago in Vienna between the United States and Iran to resuscitate the 2015 agreement, supposed to prevent the Islamic Republic from manufacturing the atomic bomb.

The pact has been moribund since the 2018 unilateral withdrawal of the United States: under the presidency of Donald Trump, it reimposed stifling sanctions on Tehran, leading in response to its gradual withdrawal from the agreement – even if the Iranian authorities continue to deny want nuclear weapons.

The election of Joe Biden to the White House has revived efforts to revive the agreement, but negotiations have been stalled for two months even though a draft text seemed within reach of signature.

A previous shuttle by Enrique Mora, Josep Borrell’s right arm, between Tehran and Washington at the end of March had not led to a breakthrough.

In parallel with an attempt at mediation by the Emir of Qatar with the highest Iranian leaders, Mr. Mora, chief negotiator of theEU for this file, therefore returned to Iran where he met his Iranian counterpart Ali Bagheri on Thursday.

The question of the Revolutionary Guards

I evaluate this meeting in Iran very positively. Negotiations had been stalled for two months over these disagreements over what to do with the Revolutionary Guardsexplained the head of diplomacy of theEU.

One of the last obstacles is indeed Tehran’s demand that the United States remove the Revolutionary Guards, its ideological army, from the American blacklist of foreign terrorist organizations.

Washington ensures that this sanction, decided by Donald Trump after the withdrawal from the agreement, has no connection with nuclear power and cannot be discussed within the framework of these negotiations. Josep Borrell had promised to propose a middle lane.

These kinds of things cannot be solved overnight. Let’s say things were blocked and they were unblockedhe said on Friday, assuring that theEU conveyed the message to the negotiators it can’t go on like this.

The response was quite positivehe rejoiced.

An agreement remains far from certain

However, European optimism was quickly dampened by the United States.

The spokesman for American diplomacy Ned Price admittedly thanked Enrique Mora for his important work to relaunch exchanges after several weeks of unnecessary delay.

That being said, at this stage an agreement remains far from certain., he warned in response to journalists. The Biden government, which nevertheless fervently defends a return to the agreement despite harsh criticism from the Republican opposition and part of its own Democratic camp, continues to prepare for all scenariosa diplomatic outcome or a failure of dialogue, he added.

For the US State Department, Iran must decide whether to insist on conditions that have nothing to do with nuclear or if he wants to make a deal quickly.

We and our partners have been ready for some time. But the ball is now really in Iran’s court.added Ned Price.

The two enemy countries, without diplomatic relations for more than 40 years, have mutually blamed each other for the blockage for weeks.

A satisfactory and reliable outcome is within reach if the United States makes up its mind and keeps its commitments.Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian commented on Twitter.

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