Iran, E3 diplomats meet in Oslo to break nuclear deal logjam – Middle East Monitor


Efforts to stop the stalled talks in Vienna aimed at reviving the 2015 nuclear agreement have gathered momentum again amid the geopolitical changes fueled by the Tehran-Riyadh rapprochement, Anadolu News Agency reports.

Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister and chief nuclear negotiator, Ali Bagheri, confirmed reports on Wednesday night about his meeting with senior European diplomats in Oslo last week.

In a tweet, Bagheri said he met the political directors of the E3 countries (UK, Germany and France) and “discussed a range of issues of mutual interest and concern”.

“We have no opportunity to clarify our views and warn against certain miscalculations. We are determined to advance our national interests, including through diplomacy,” he wrote.

The US unilaterally withdrew from the nuclear deal in May 2018, after which Iran gradually increased its nuclear enrichment activities, above the limit set in the agreement.

Talks to revive the landmark nuclear deal have stalled since last August, amid major disagreements between Tehran and Washington as well as Iran’s dispute with the UN nuclear watchdog.

The recent nationwide protests in Iran as well as allegations of Tehran supplying drones to Moscow for use in the war in Ukraine have complicated efforts to revive the nuclear deal, with both the United States and European countries imposing fresh sanctions. force on Iran on both issues. .

The meeting between Bagheri and the representatives of the three European countries, which are signatories of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) came when Iran and its neighbors in the Persian Gulf were estranged in intensive diplomacy to revive or upgrade ties.

Iran and Saudi Arabia, the two arch-enemies of the region, recently agreed to resume diplomatic ties after seven years, paving the way for Iran to have closer ties with other Arab countries, including the UAE.

Iran’s participation in the IAEA

More importantly, Iran’s involvement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has also increased in recent weeks after the head of the IAEA, Rafael Grossi, visited Tehran.

During the high-stakes visit, both sides agreed to resolve all outstanding issues, including the agency’s investigation of “traces of uranium” found at three undeclared nuclear sites in Iran.

The issue was one of the main sticking points in the Vienna talks, with the United States and its European allies repeatedly urging Tehran to cooperate with the Agency. Iran, however, denies the “allegations”.

Grossi’s talks in Tehran also featured the reinstallation of some surveillance cameras and other key monitoring activities, after which Tehran made “very concrete” promises that will be reviewed during the upcoming meeting of Iran’s technical teams – IAEA.

Bagheri, in his statement, did not disclose details of the meeting he had with the European diplomats.

Iran’s state news agency, IRNA, sources said earlier that the Iranian official met with E3 diplomats in the Norwegian capital in the presence of the European Union’s deputy head of Foreign Policy, Enrique Mora. Mora’s attendance, however, has not been confirmed by other reports.

The German Foreign Ministry, in a tweet, also confirmed that the meeting took place. The meeting noted, to “make our positions very clear in view of Iran’s escalation in many areas,” adding that “there are still no negotiations” on the nuclear deal.

Norway’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it held an “informal meeting” between France, Germany, the UK and Iran “to discuss serious concerns and to prevent escalation in an extreme situation”.

According to sources, Oslo previously hosted a meeting between Iranian officials and the three European countries to end the stalemate in efforts to save the 2015 nuclear deal.

READ: Iran’s concessions to the IAEA are highly dependent on future talks – IAEA

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