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EU asks Iran to address concerns over nuclear program

High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell in Brussels, Belgium on 15 November 2021 [Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency]
High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell in Brussels, Belgium on 15 November 2021 [Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency]

The Foreign Policy Chief of the EU met with Iran's top diplomat on Thursday to discuss Tehran's nuclear program, ahead of another round of talks in Vienna, Anadolu News Agency reports.

In a phone call with Foreign Minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Josep Borrell called for Tehran to lift "some concerns regarding Iran nuclear program," according to a statement by the Iranian Foreign Ministry.

On his conversation with Amir-Abdollahian, Borrel had said earlier on Twitter: "I conveyed a sense of urgency: we need to advance much quicker in the negotiations to restore the deal."

Amir-Abdollahian noted the benefits of the meetings in Vienna on the Iran nuclear deal, known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and added that Iran would closely cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Criticising recent statements by European countries on the talks, he warned that this was not constructive and could slow down the agreement process by complicating the terms.

READ: Iran slams US for imposing new sanctions

He claimed that Iran's nuclear program was peaceful, underlining that "resolving the nuclear concern is directly related to the lifting of sanctions."

The JCPOA was signed in 2015 by Iran, the US, China, Russia, France, the UK, Germany and the EU.

Under the agreement, Tehran has committed to limit its nuclear activity to civilian purposes and, in return, the world powers agreed to drop their economic sanctions against Iran.

But in 2018, then-President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the US from the agreement and re-imposed tough sanctions on Iran, prompting Tehran to stop complying with the deal.

Both Tehran and Washington continue to maintain their tough positions. While Iran wants the removal of all US sanctions and guarantees given by Washington not to abandon the agreement again, the US is calling for Iran to comply with its commitments.

Iran and world powers on 29 November kicked off talks in Vienna, in a last-ditch attempt to restore the 2015 accord.

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