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EU, Iran say they’ll hold nuclear talks in Brussels ‘this week’

Bloc says its diplomatic service is ‘sparing no efforts’ to restart Vienna negotiations with all parties to 2015 nuclear pact

Deputy Secretary General and Political Director of the European External Action Service (EEAS) Enrique Mora addresses the media in front of the Grand Hotel Vienna, where closed-door nuclear talks take place in Vienna, Austria, June 20, 2021. (AP Photo/Florian Schroetter)
Deputy Secretary General and Political Director of the European External Action Service (EEAS) Enrique Mora addresses the media in front of the Grand Hotel Vienna, where closed-door nuclear talks take place in Vienna, Austria, June 20, 2021. (AP Photo/Florian Schroetter)

BRUSSELS — The EU’s top negotiator will meet his counterpart from Tehran this week in Brussels for talks on restarting negotiations over Iran’s nuclear deal, a spokesman for the bloc said on Monday.

The EU and world powers are scrambling to try to get negotiations in Vienna aimed at reviving the 2015 accord back on track after the election of a hardliner in Tehran.

Iran’s chief negotiator on the deal, Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri, wrote on Twitter that he would be in Brussels on Wednesday “to continue our talks on result-oriented negotiations.”

EU spokesman Peter Stano said the meeting would involve the bloc’s lead negotiator, Enrique Mora, who visited Tehran earlier this month to push Iran to restart full negotiations.

Stano said the EU’s diplomatic service was “sparing no efforts to resume talks of all parties in Vienna.”

The agreement between Iran and world powers to find a long-term solution to the now two-decade-old crisis over its controversial nuclear program has been moribund since former US president Donald Trump walked out of the deal in May 2018.

His successor, President Joe Biden, has said he is ready to re-enter the agreement, so long as Iran meets key preconditions including full compliance with the deal whose terms it repeatedly violated by ramping up nuclear activities since the US left the pact.

But the Vienna-based talks through intermediaries made little headway, before being interrupted by the election of hardliner Ebrahim Raisi as Iran’s president and suspended for the last four months.

The EU acts as coordinator for the deal that also involves Britain, France, Germany, China, and Russia.

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