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11 Mar, 2022 13:40

EU says ‘pause’ now needed in Iranian nuclear talks

Josep Borrell revealed that a “final text is essentially ready” but “external factors” have delayed negotiations
EU says ‘pause’ now needed in Iranian nuclear talks

The European Union’s top foreign-policy representative Josep Borrell announced on Friday that a “pause” is needed in the Iranian nuclear deal negotiations “due to external factors.” However, despite the delay, he confirmed that “a final text is essentially ready and on the table.”

The statement from the EU chief, released on Twitter, did not specify what was causing the delay but stated that all participants and the US are remaining in touch to “overcome the situation and to close the agreement.”

A spokesperson for Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed the talks have been paused, suggesting this “could be a momentum for resolving any remaining issue.” “Successful conclusion of talks will be the main focus of all. No external factor will affect our joint will to go forward for a collective agreement,” Iran’s foreign-ministry spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh said.

On Thursday, Iran pushed for negotiations to be sped up amid uncertainty caused by the conflict in Ukraine and the growing tensions between the West and Russia.

Russia and the US are both involved in the talks, as well as China, the EU, France, Germany, the UK and Iran. Last week, Russia wrote to the US demanding guarantees that sanctions imposed over the Ukraine conflict will not impact Moscow’s ability to trade with Iran.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is the 2015 nuclear deal that was agreed between Western powers and Iran to limit the Middle Eastern nation’s nuclear program. Under then-President Donald Trump, the United States withdrew from the deal in 2018, imposing further sanctions on Iran that resulted in Tehran returning to its nuclear ambitions.