Nuclear Accord Could Transform Tehran-EU Ties

Nuclear Accord Could Transform Tehran-EU Ties  Nuclear Accord Could Transform Tehran-EU Ties

Nuclear talks between Iran and the six major powers are getting close to agreement after more than a decade of diplomacy, the European Union's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal on Thursday, noting that a nuclear deal could transform relations between Iran and the EU.  

Asked if she believed the two sides were coming close to a deal, Mogherini said, "Yes, we are getting close."

As EU foreign policy chief, Mogherini is formal chair of the six-nation group negotiating with Iran, although she has not attended the regular rounds of talks. Still, she is kept in close touch on the talks with the EU's political director, Helga Schmid, attending almost all key meetings.

Mogherini refused to comment on details of the talks; however, she said an agreement could transform ties between Tehran and the EU, which plummeted in 2012 when the bloc imposed an oil embargo and other sanctions on Iran over its nuclear work. Iran says its nuclear program is for purely civilian purposes.

In terms of bilateral ties, she said an agreement "could open the way for a normal diplomatic relation." Tehran is one of the relatively few capitals where the EU does not have a mission.

She said a deal could also allow a regional framework to emerge with Iran that could tackle the Middle East's many crises

"If out of a series of crises in the Middle East…and the Iranian nuclear talks, we manage to get the opportunity for shaping a different regional framework in the Middle East, this would be a major game-changer for our security and the stability of our region," she said.