Josep Borrell says he is ‘less confident’ about reaching Iran nuclear deal

AA / Brussels / Agnes Szucs

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Monday he was “less confident” about the success of a compromise to revive the Iran nuclear deal.

Borrell told reporters that the success of EU-led negotiations between Iran and the US on reactivating the nuclear deal is ‘in jeopardy’ and the parties will not be able to complete the deal rapidly.

The head of European diplomacy explained that the various reactions he has received recently, which he described as “very worrying”, show that the positions “are divergent”.

“I am less confident today than 28 hours ago about the progress of the negotiation process and the prospect of concluding the agreement,” he said.

Negotiations on the Iranian nuclear power resumed on August 5 in the Austrian capital, Vienna, after a five-month hiatus, in order to relaunch the agreement by finding a compromise between Washington and Tehran.

As coordinator of the deal, Borrell presented a proposal to lift US sanctions and ensure Iran’s compliance with nuclear requirements.

He told reporters it was the “most balanced text I could produce, taking into account all points of view”.

The project received “positive reactions from our partners”, but positions did not converge during indirect discussions conducted through the EU coordinator, he added.

The Iran nuclear deal was reached in 2015 by Iran, the United States, China, Russia, France, the United Kingdom, Germany and the EU.

Under this agreement, Tehran undertook to limit its nuclear activity for civilian purposes and, in return, the world powers agreed to lift the economic sanctions which weigh on Iran.

Then-US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the United States from the accord in 2018 and reimposed sanctions on Iran, prompting Tehran to no longer comply with the accord.

Since the beginning of this dispute, EU diplomacy, as coordinator of the agreement, has made significant efforts to bring Iran and the United States back to the negotiating table.

*Translated from English by Mourad Belhaj


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