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EU visit to Iran vital to nuclear talks’ future, France says

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Iranian flag flies in front of the UN office building, housing IAEA headquarters, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Vienna, Austria, May 24, 2021. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner/File Photo

The EU coordinator’s visit to Tehran for reviving Iran’s nuclear deal is vital, said France on Wednesday.

France questioned the commitment of the new tough Iranian administration to restoring the pact.

The EU’s political director, Enrique Mora, is scheduled to hold talks with members of the Iranian nuclear negotiation team.

This happens after four months of delay between Iran and world powers, including the US, to revive the 2015 deal.

“Through its statements and actions on the ground, the new President Raissi raises doubts,” French Foreign Ministry spokesperson Anne-Claire Legendre said.

Iran raises doubts on its intention to return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA),” she continued.

“While refusing to negotiate, Iran creates facts on the ground that further complicate the return to the JCPoA.”

Iran has said multiple times it will negotiate “soon” without giving a specific date or indicating what it actually means.

However, western diplomats said the return to the Vienna talks might be possible before the end of October.

Legendre said that Tehran has to be clear about its intentions if it comes back to renegotiate.

Since ex-President Trump cancelled the deal in 2018 and reimposed sanctions on Iran, the latter has been producing enriched uranium.

Tehran rebuilt stockpiles of highly refined enriched uranium and has installed advanced centrifuges to increase production.

Iran and the United States disagreements

President Joe Biden aims to revive the deal, but the sides disagree on several issues, including the nature and time of the steps.

The major issues include the nuclear limit of Tehran, the sanctions Washington imposed, and regional and ballistic missiles.

Also, whether there will be any guarantees on removing the sanctions and the prospect of the Iranian nuclear program, diplomats said.

“I will host Deputy Secretary General on Thursday,” Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri Kani tweeted on Wednesday.

“Exchanging views on bilateral & regional issues, including Afghanistan, and talks on removal of cruel sanctions, are on the agenda.”

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