TEHRAN -- The EU envoy charged with coordinating talks on reviving a troubled nuclear deal between Iran and major powers is to visit Tehran on Thursday, the Iranian foreign ministry said.
Enrique Mora’s visit “is a follow-up to consultations between the two sides on matters of shared interest, particularly Iran-EU relations, Afghanistan and the nuclear agreement,” a ministry statement said.
The deal, which gave Iran sanctions relief in return for curbs on its nuclear program, has been on life support since 2018, when then U.S. president Donald Trump unilaterally pulled out and reimposed crippling sanctions.
Tehran has been seeking European guarantees that there will be no repetition of Trump’s unilateral withdrawal.
“The European capitals, including Berlin... must give their clear assurance to the Islamic republic that this time, no party will violate the nuclear deal,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh told reporters on Monday.
U.S. President Joe Biden has signaled a willingness to return to the deal, but his administration has failed to take any meaningful action to remove the sanctions.
Talks in Vienna between Iran and the remaining parties to the agreement -- Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia -- have been on hold since a June election in Iran led to a change of president.
New President Ebrahim Raisi -- a former judiciary chief – has made it clear that any negotiations should benefit Iran and that his administration will not tie the future of the country to the nuclear deal.
Iran has said repeatedly that it is ready to resume talks “soon” but no date has yet been announced.
Tehran gradually rolled back its own nuclear commitments in response to the U.S. pullout.
Earlier this month, Khatibzadeh called on the United States to effectively remove all 800 illegal sanctions imposed, re-imposed or re-labeled under Trump, saying such a measure serves as a “ticket” for Washington to return to the negotiating table.
Speaking to France 24 on Monday, he said the Islamic Republic would definitely resume nuclear negotiations, but Tehran was still reviewing the details of the six rounds of Vienna talks held under the previous Iranian administration.
The new administration is currently trying to “find out why the previous talks did not reach a satisfactory phase or a document that all sides will be happy with. All those questions have been written. We are trying to find out, also, the issues that [we need them] to be addressed properly in the upcoming talks,” Khatibzadeh said.
“The most important one is removing all sanctions imposed after President Trump unilaterally withdrew from Iran’s nuclear deal. You know that President Trump has added 800 new unilateral, illegal sanctions on Iran,” which are needed to be removed, Khatibzadeh said.