Iran says it responds to EU proposal to revive nuclear deal

Iran's lead negotiator says Tehran shared ideas to revive the 2015 nuclear deal.

Iran says it responds to EU proposal to revive nuclear deal

In an indication that the next round of talks to revive the 2015 nuclear deal could come soon, Iran's lead negotiator on Sunday said his country seeks a "swift conclusion" to the marathon negotiations.

Ali Bagheri, Iran's deputy foreign minister, took to Twitter to announce that Tehran has responded to European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell's new proposal to end the deadlock.

"We shared our proposed ideas, both on substance and form, to pave the way for a swift conclusion of Vienna negotiations," Bagheri tweeted.

Last week, Borrell said he had proposed a new draft text to Iran to revitalize the accord, which the US unilaterally left in May 2018.

Iran's lead negotiator in his tweet asserted that Tehran is working closely with remaining signatories to the 2015 nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as well as Borrell "to give another chance to the US to demonstrate good faith and act responsibly.”

Bagheri did not specify the exact date for the resumption of talks, but sources told Anadolu Agency that he informed lawmakers earlier on Sunday that negotiations will resume in the coming days, most likely in Vienna.

The negotiations between Iran and world powers have been underway in the Austrian capital since last year, with a series of interruptions caused by key disagreements between Tehran and Washington.

Last month, the talks moved to Doha in a different format - indirect negotiations between Iran and the US mediated by the EU. The first round, however, failed to produce any substantial result, EU officials admitted.

Tensions between Tehran and Washington have only heightened after US President Joe Biden's high-profile Middle East tour, where he signed two strong anti-Iran resolutions in Jerusalem and Jeddah respectively, which drew sharp reactions from Tehran.

Bagheri's statement on Sunday came hours after he met members of the Iranian Parliament's foreign policy and internal security committee, with JCPOA talks topping the agenda.

A senior lawmaker, Yaqub Rezazadeh, was quoted by the semi-official ISNA news agency as saying after that Bagheri had detailed discussions with the committee and that the new round of talks will most likely be held in the coming days.

He also expressed hope that the result eluding for many years will be achieved with a "new approach" and "careful action.”

Another senior lawmaker, Abolfazl Amouei, said consultations are underway to hold the next round of talks aimed at the revival of the landmark 2015 deal while adding that Iran's positions haven't been considered yet by other parties.

The remaining sticking issues, he cited, include the lifting of sanctions, guarantees that sanctions won't be reinstated by the future US administration, technical cooperation between Iran and the UN nuclear watchdog, and the removal of trade barriers.

Hüseyin Demir