EU diplomacy chief weighs “possible” deal with Iran on nuclear policy

The European Union’s (EU) diplomacy chief, Josep Borrell, assessed this Friday that there was a better “environment” in negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program, and considered that a deal was “possible”.

“The atmosphere has improved after Christmas. Before Christmas, I was very pessimistic. Now, I think it is possible to reach an agreement,” Borrell told a news conference at the end of a meeting of European foreign ministers in Brest, France.

Borrell mentioned the possibility that there would be “results” already “in the coming weeks.”

“I still hope that it’s possible to redo the deal and make it work,” he said.

On the same Friday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov commented that “there is real progress and a sincere desire, between Iran and the United States, to understand this particular issue.”

More cautiously, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian pointed out that negotiations are still progressing “too slowly to reach a result.”

For Le Drian it was important to “accelerate” the dialogue process because the negotiations were “urgent”.

The agreement was signed in 2015 between Iran and a group of five powers (the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany).

With this agreement, Iran is committed to a drastic reduction of its nuclear program and in return the Western countries will gradually lift the economic sanctions they have adopted against the Tehran government.

However, in 2018 the administration of US President Donald Trump abruptly abandoned the agreement and since then the other signatory countries have been trying desperately to keep the understanding alive.

The parties resumed contact last November, trying to convince the United States to return to the agreement, and Iran to once again comply with the obligations set out in the agreement.

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Matt Thompson

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