Jun 25, 2022 - World

U.S. and Iran to resume nuclear talks in days, EU says

Iran Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian (right) at a press conference with Josep Borrell, the EU's foreign affairs chief, in Tehran on June 25. Photo: Atta Kenare/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. and Iran in the coming days will resume indirect negotiations in an attempt to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said after his meeting with Iran's foreign minister in Tehran on Saturday.

Why it matters: The nuclear talks in Vienna paused months ago after the parties reached a deadlock over Iran’s demand that the Biden administration remove the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps from a U.S. terror blacklist.

Driving the news: Borrell arrived in Tehran on Saturday after meeting U.S.-Iran envoy Rob Malley in Brussels on Thursday. Malley said after the meeting that the U.S. “remains committed to the path of meaningful diplomacy, in consultation with our European partners."

  • Borrell met in Tehran for several hours with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian on Saturday and discussed the deadlocked nuclear negotiations.
  • After the meeting, Borrell tweeted that he agreed with his Iranian counterpart that the indirect talks between the U.S. and Iran will resume in the coming days, with the EU as the facilitator “to solve the last outstanding issues."

What they are saying: “My visit to Tehran has one main objective: give new momentum to the negotiations and bring the nuclear deal back on track," Borrell said.

  • "We need to break the current dynamic of escalation and speed up our work. We need to close the deal now."

A senior State Department official told Axios that it "is possible that indirect talks with Iran will resume, but we won't know until we have a fuller readout from the EU team after they depart Iran."

  • "We are prepared to immediately conclude and implement the deal we negotiated in Vienna for mutual return to full implementation of the JCPOA, but Iran needs to drop demands that go beyond the JCPOA," the official added, using the acronym of the nuclear deal's official title, Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

Amir-Abdollahian said Iran is ready to return to the nuclear talks but said the U.S. needs to act with responsibility.

  • He stressed that Iran will retaliate if Israel continues to engage in sabotage operations against its nuclear facilities.

Go deeper: Biden administration unveils new sanctions on Iranian petrochemical network

Editor's note: This story has been updated with the statements of Amir-Abdollahian and the State Department official.

Go deeper