May 7, 2021

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Borrell: Current opportunity should be seized to return US to JCPOA

The EU foreign policy chief has stressed the necessity of seizing the existing diplomatic opportunity to make the United States return to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and pave the way for the full implementation of the landmark agreement.

In a post on his twitter account on Tuesday, Josep Borrell said he had raised the issue of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as the Iran deal is officially known, during a meeting of foreign ministers from the G7 group of the world’s most developed nations in Britain.

“Glad to be in London for the #G7UK ministerial meeting” on Iran and North Korea, he said. “As coordinator of the #JCPOA, I highlighted the need to use the current window of opportunity to advance towards return of the US & full implementation of the deal.”

Former US President Donald Trump abandoned the JCPOA three years after its conclusion and launched what his team called a “maximum pressure” campaign with the stated objective of forcing Iran to renegotiate “a better agreement.”

The Islamic Republic refused to bow down to the pressure and adopted instead a “maximum resistance” policy, which includes economic measures to weather the bans as well as reducing Tehran’s compliance with the JCPOA.

Trump’s successor, Joe Biden, has claimed that his administration is willing to return to the JCPOA, but conditioned the move to Tehran’s full compliance. 

Tehran says Washington is the side which abandoned the JCPOA and thus, it has to take the first step toward the JCPOA by unconditionally removing all the sanctions on Iran in a verifiable manner, given its long record of not playing by the rules. 

In recent weeks, envoys from Russia, China, Germany, France, Britain and Iran — the remaining signatories to the JCPOA — have held several rounds of talks in Vienna aimed at ending the Tehran-Washington row and reviving the JCPOA.

They have established three expert-level working groups tasked with unravelling the most important issues and drafting solutions.

A US delegation headed by the US administration’s special envoy for Iran, Rob Malley, was also in the Austrian capital, but it was not attending the discussions.

Vienna talks ‘making progress’

In another development on Tuesday, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the International Organizations in Vienna Mikhail Ulyanov rejected speculation about the collapse of the Vienna negotiations.

“Read with surprise comments of some analysts who claim that the Vienna talks on #JCPOA are “collapsing,”” he said.

“This is wishful thinking of those who are against efforts to strengthen nuclear non-proliferation regime based on #NPT. In real life the talks are making progress,” the Russian diplomat added.

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