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EU’s Mora in Tehran to Meet Deputy FM Ahead of Vienna Talks

EU’s Mora in Tehran to Meet Deputy FM Ahead of Vienna Talks
EU’s Mora in Tehran to Meet Deputy FM Ahead of Vienna Talks

Enrique Mora, the European Union senior envoy who coordinates negotiations on reviving the 2015 nuclear deal, is set to meet Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Baqeri in Tehran on Thursday ahead of the prospective resumption of the talks.
“The trip is in line with bilateral consultations about issues of mutual interest, including relations between Iran and the EU, Afghanistan and the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action as the nuclear deal is formally called],” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh was quoted as saying by ISNA.
Mora’s visit comes as Iran has shown signs of preparedness to return to the nuclear negotiations in Vienna, Austria, that aim to work out how the United States and Iran can resume compliance with the 2015 accord.  
The US pulled out of the deal in 2018 and reimposed tough sanctions on Tehran, prompting its leaders to scale down JCPOA commitments.
The Vienna talks began in April, but have been at pause since June, after the presidential elections in Iran which brought a more conservative government to power.
The new administration has been reviewing the track record of previous rounds since taking office in August, while also deciding on the makeup of the new negotiating team.
Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said on Tuesday that the evaluation process will be finalized “in near future”, after which a date will be announced for the relaunch of the talks.
Khatibzadeh also said on Monday that the coming days would see more diplomatic activity regarding the JCPOA and the Vienna talks.

Possible Negotiator

Mora is meeting Baqeri, who will most likely lead Iran’s delegation, replacing former chief negotiator Abbas Araqchi.
“In line with recent regional and international consultations, I will host Mr. Enrique Mora, Deputy Secretary General of the European External Action Service, tomorrow,” Baqeri said on Twitter.
“Exchanging views on bilateral and regional issues, including Afghanistan, as well as negotiations to lift cruel sanctions, are on the agenda of this trip,” he added.
The new Iranian government has confirmed that it would carry on with the negotiations, but said it had to produce tangible results for the nation.
Tehran demands a full and verifiable removal of sanctions before it reverses its countermeasures.
Amir-Abdollahian had earlier said that a major concern of Iran would be around ways to verify the lifting of the sanctions.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a briefing on Tuesday that negotiation continues to be Washington’s preferred path.
“We believe diplomacy … should always be the first option,” she said.
She said the US team remains prepared to return for another round of discussions, but quoted the US secretary of state as saying once again recently that “time is not unlimited” and that remains the case.
Washington is reportedly refusing to lift all its bans unconditionally, trying to use its economic pressure as leverage to win more concessions out of Iran.
Tehran has censured the administration of new US President Joe Biden for adopting its predecessor’s approach, declaring that it would not agree to anything less than what was agreed in 2015.
Amir-Abdollahian said recently that Iran’s measures will be commensurate with the extent of action by the other negotiating sides.

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