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EU Chief Negotiator on Iran nuclear deal briefly detained by German police

May 13, 2022 at 5:20 pm

Enrique Mora, the deputy secretary-general and political director of the EU diplomatic service in Vienna, Austria on December 27, 2021 [Aşkın Kıyağan/Anadolu Agency]

Senior EU diplomat, Enrique Mora, was briefly detained on Friday by the German police at the Frankfurt Airport on his way back from Tehran after holding talks on the Iran nuclear deal, Anadolu News Agency reports.

On Twitter, the EU’s Chief Negotiator on the Iran nuclear deal and deputy Secretary-General of the EU diplomatic service said he was detained by the German police at the Frankfurt Airport on his way back to Brussels.

The diplomat later announced he was released, but authorities refused to give him any explanation.

The EU Ambassador to the UN representation in Vienna and the Head of the Iran task force of the EU diplomatic service was also detained separately, Mora added.

Mora pointed out that the action of the German police might have violated the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations that provides protection for diplomats.

German police confirms incident

Germany’s Federal Police has confirmed that three EU diplomats were briefly stopped and controlled at the Frankfurt Airport on Friday, after their arrival from Tehran.

The diplomats were controlled due to “non-personal” and ”IT-based” information about the Tehran-Frankfurt route, police spokesman, Michael Kraft, told Anadolu Agency, but did not give any further details.

He only said the diplomats were able to continue their journey after about 40 minutes.

Stalled nuclear deal talks

Mora travelled on Tuesday to Tehran to hold talks with Bagheri Kani, the Iranian deputy Foreign Minister and lead Nuclear Negotiator, and other officials on resuming negotiations between Iran and other parties to the Iran nuclear deal.

He left the Iranian capital on Thursday night.

The EU diplomacy has made significant efforts to get Iran and the US back to the negotiation table since the beginning of the conflict between the two countries.

Under the EU chairmanship, representatives from Iran, China, Russia, France, the UK and Germany have negotiated for months in the Austrian capital of Vienna to ensure full compliance and bring the US back to the deal.

The Iran nuclear deal – officially named the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (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, world powers agreed to drop their economic sanctions against Iran.

The US, under former President Donald Trump, unilaterally withdrew from the agreement in 2018 and re-imposed sanctions on Iran, prompting Tehran to stop complying with the nuclear deal.

READ: Iran says EU nuclear talks envoy to visit as bloc seeks to save deal