EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell is expected to meet with Iran's top diplomat in Tehran in an attempt to breathe new life into talks on reviving the 2015 nuclear deal with global powers.
'Diplomacy is the only way to go back to full implementation of the deal and to reverse current tensions,' Borrell tweeted as the EU confirmed his two-day trip.
'Bilateral relations, regional and international issues, as well as the latest status of sanctions lifting will be discussed during the visit, which is part of the ongoing consultations between Iran and the European Union," Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh said earlier on June 24.
Under the 2015 deal, Iran agreed to limits on its controversial nuclear program in exchange for relief from punitive sanctions imposed by the West. But the arrangement began to fall apart when the U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of the deal in 2018.
Washington subsequently reimposed crippling sanctions on Tehran, while the Iranian government, which denies that its nuclear program seeks to build a bomb, backed away from some of the commitments laid out in the deal.
Iran has been engaged for more than a year in negotiations with Britain, Germany, France, Russia, and China directly -- and the United States, indirectly -- to revive the deal.
Negotiators were reportedly close to a new agreement in March, but the talks in Vienna abruptly stalled in April, with Tehran and Washington blaming each other for failing to take the necessary political decisions to settle remaining issues.
In early June, Tehran said it had started removing 27 surveillance cameras from nuclear sites across the country, further reducing the West's ability to monitor Iran's nuclear program.
The EU's nuclear talks envoy, Enrique Mora, posted a photo late on June 23 of a dinner he was attending in Brussels with Borrell and Robert Malley, the U.S. special envoy to the talks.
Mora said Malley reiterated Washington's 'firm commitment to come back to the deal.'
Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Washington DC 20036