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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

EU coordinator to visit Tehran to close gaps on JCPOA revival

Iran Press TV

Saturday, 26 March 2022 6:15 AM

European Union deputy foreign policy chief Enrique Mora, who also acts as the coordinator for the Vienna talks, says he will travel to Iran as the pause continues in the negotiations aimed at reviving the 2015 Iran deal.

In a post on his Twitter account on Friday, Mora said he will hold talks with Iran's lead negotiator Ali Bagheri-Kani in Tehran on Saturday as part of the efforts towards "closing the remaining gaps" in the talks in the Austrian capital.

"Travelling to Tehran tomorrow to meet @Bagheri_Kani. Working on closing the remaining gaps in the #ViennaTalks on the #JCPOA. We must conclude this negotiation. Much is at stake," he wrote.

The European Union's top diplomat Josep Borrell said the negotiating sides were very close to agreement on reviving the nuclear deal.

Borrell made the comments when addressing the Doha Forum international conference on Saturday.

Earlier this month, the Vienna talks, meant to resurrect the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), were paused for an undetermined period of time despite reports suggesting that they were in the "final stages."

The United States, which is blamed for the current stalemate, is reluctant to take confidence-building measures due to its erroneous bias, procrastination in decision-making and excessive demands.

Iranian officials have repeatedly said the US needs to remove all illegal sanctions against the Islamic Republic in a verifiable manner and offer guarantees that a new US administration will not breach the JCPOA again before it can rejoin the deal.

Former US president Donald Trump unilaterally left the JCPOA in May 2018 and re-imposed the anti-Iran sanctions that the deal had lifted. He also placed additional sanctions on Iran under other pretexts not related to the nuclear case as part of his "maximum pressure" campaign.

In May 2019, following a year of strategic patience, Iran decided to let go of some of the restrictions on its nuclear energy program, resorting to its legal rights under the JCPOA, which grants a party the right to suspend its contractual commitments in case of non-compliance by the other side.

The administration of US President Joe Biden says it is willing to compensate for Trump's mistake and rejoin the deal, but it has retained the sanctions as leverage.

Speaking on Friday, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan threatened that Washington will increase pressure on Tehran if the Vienna talks fail.

He said substantial progress has been made in resolving a number of issues necessary for the US to come back to the JCPOA "on a compliance-for-compliance basis."

"There still are issues left. There still is work to be done," he added. "We are still seeking a diplomatic outcome here that puts Iran's nuclear program back in a box. Of course, if diplomacy doesn't succeed, then we will work very closely with our international partners to increase the pressure on Iran."

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