Monday, 25 Oct 2021 - 19 of Heshvan, 5782
EU

EU’s Borrell: no ministerial meeting with Iran this week in New York

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The JCPOA Joint Commission, made up of Foreign Ministers from Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia and from Iran, had met earlier this year in Vienna in order to discuss a return to the 2015 nuclear deal, but talks were adjourned in June after hardliner Ebrahim Raisi was elected Iran’s president.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell insisted that there will no ministerial meeting with Iran at the United Nations headquarters in Nex York this week to discuss a return to the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), contrary to what French Foreign Minister Yves Le Drian suggested.

Speaking to journalists, Borrell repeated several times that there would not be a meeting of the JCPOA Joint Commission on Wednesday.

“Some years it happens, some years it doesn’t happen. It’s not in the agenda,” said Borrell, who acts as coordinator for the JCPOA.

Le Drian said on Monday that there would be a ministerial meeting of the nuclear deal parties.

“We need to take advantage of this week to restart these talks. Iran must accept to return as quickly as possible by appointing its representatives for the negotiations,” the French minister said.

The JCPOA Joint Commission, made up of Foreign Ministers from Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia and from Iran, had met in Vienna in order to discuss a return to the 2015 nuclear deal, but talks were adjourned in June after hardliner Ebrahim Raisi was elected Iran’s president.

‘’The important thing is not this ministerial meeting, but the will of all parties to resume negotiations in Vienna,” said Borrell who was due to meet the new Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian in New York.

‘’I will have the first opportunity to know and to talk with the new Minister of Iran. And, certainly, during this meeting, I will call on Iran to resume the talks in Vienna as soon as possible,’’ he added.

“After the elections (in Iran) the new presidency asked for the delay in order to take fully take stock of the negotiations and understand better everything about this very sensitive file,” Borrell said. “The summer has already passed by and we expect that the talks can be resuming soon in Vienna.”

The world powers held six rounds of indirect talks between the United States and Iran in Vienna to try and work out how both can return to compliance with the nuclear pact, which was abandoned by former U.S. President Donald Trump in 2018.

Trump reimposed harsh sanctions on Iran, which then started breaching curbs on its nuclear programme. Tehran has said its nuclear program is for peaceful energy purposes only.

In his address to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, U.S. President Joe Biden stressed his willingness to resume the 2015 deal if Iran complies with its terms. “The United States remains committed to preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon… We’re prepared to return to full compliance with the deal if Iran does the same,” he said.

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