EU ready to receive Iranian officials ‘but time is running out’

EU ready to receive Iranian officials ‘but time is running out’
EU ready to receive Iranian officials ‘but time is running out’

Borrell called for no more time to be wasted (Frederic Florin/AFP)

On Friday, European Union Foreign Minister Josep Borrell expressed his “willingness” to receive Iranian officials in Brussels, but at the same time called on Iran not to waste more time and return to the negotiating table over its nuclear program.

At the conclusion of a visit to Washington, Borrell refused to resort to alternative plans discussed by Washington, or military options that Israel hinted at this week in the face of the obstruction of diplomatic efforts to save the 2015 nuclear agreement, with the aim of preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.

“I know the Iranians somehow want advance talks with me as coordinator, and with some other members of the board” of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, Borrell told reporters in Washington. “I am ready for it, but time is running out” to save the deal, he added.

The European Union’s negotiator in charge of the file, Enrique Mora, visited Tehran on Thursday, where he urged the Iranian government to resume negotiations suspended since the election of the new Iranian president in June. The Iranian Foreign Ministry said that “the two sides agreed to continue talks” in Brussels “in the coming days.” She expressed to him “serious doubts about the willingness of the Americans to fulfill their commitments.”

Borrell added, “I cannot give a specific date. I am ready to receive them if that is necessary,” knowing that he held talks Thursday in Washington with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken. He continued, “I am not saying that it is very necessary, but I have to show some kind of strategic patience in this regard, because we cannot allow ourselves to fail.”

Westerners’ impatience is growing day by day, because Iran has not yet set a date for its return to Vienna. “I understand that the new government needs time to study the file, but that time has passed, and it is time to return to the negotiating table,” Borrell said Friday. On Friday, France also called on Iran to put an end to all its violations of the “unprecedented gravity” of the international agreement related to its nuclear program. “There is an urgent need for Iran to quickly resume full cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency, and to put an end to all activities of unprecedented danger it is continuing, in violation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (the official name of the nuclear deal),” the French Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said.

(France Brush)

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