TEHRAN -- Iran is ready to hold talks with European parties to a 2015 nuclear pact, Press TV quoted an unnamed source as saying on Wednesday, while the country’s top nuclear negotiator is in Brussels to discuss a resumption of stalled nuclear talks.
“Iran has formally voiced preparedness for direct talks with the three European parties to the nuclear deal,” the source told Press TV.
“Iran invited the three states for visits to Tehran or offered trips to the trio’s respective capitals for such talks, but it has received no response so far,” the source added.
The source familiar with top Iranian nuclear negotiator Ali Baqeri Kani’s diplomatic efforts in Brussels rejected U.S. media claims that Iran had responded negatively to a meeting with representatives of the European trio — France, Britain, and Germany.
Iran, the source added, invited the three states for visits to Tehran or offered trips to the trio’s respective capitals for such talks, but it has received no response so far.
Baqeri-Kani is in Brussels to continue “talks on result-oriented negotiations” with the European Union’s Deputy Secretary General Enrique Mora.
In a tweet on Monday, Baqeri-Kani said he would meet Mora, who acts as the coordinator of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal’s Joint Commission, in Brussels to discuss the continuation of talks.
Earlier, a Wall Street Journal journalist had claimed in a series of tweets that the Iranian deputy foreign minister was not willing to meet with representatives of the three European countries involved in the nuclear deal.
Former U.S. president Donald Trump left the JCPOA in May 2018 and re-imposed the anti-Iran sanctions that the deal had lifted.
He also placed additional sanctions on Iran under other pretexts not related to the nuclear case as part of his “maximum pressure” campaign.
Following a year of strategic patience, Iran resorted to its legal rights stipulated in Article 26 of the JCPOA, which grants a party the right to suspend its contractual commitments in case of non-compliance by other signatories and let go of some of the restrictions imposed on its nuclear energy program.
Iran and the remaining parties to JCPOA have held six rounds of talks in Vienna, which began after the US administration of Joe Biden voiced a willingness to rejoin the nuclear agreement, three years after Trump unilaterally withdrew the United States from the deal.
While disagreements on key issues persisted, the participants took a break from the talks after Ebrahim Raisi emerged victorious in Iran’s June presidential election, and waited for Iran’s democratic transition to take place to continue the talks.
The scope of the sanctions removal and the need for the U.S. to guarantee that it would not ditch the JCPOA again are among the key issues not settled during the administration of former president Hassan Rouhani.
In recent weeks, there has been mounting pressure on Tehran to return to the negotiating table. The Raisi administration has announced on several occasions that it will resume the talks only to remove all of the United States’ illegal sanctions and that it will not take part in negotiations for the sake of negotiations.