Iran ready to resume nuclear talks – report

Tehran’s top nuclear negotiator is in Brussels for talks on picking up on stalled diplomacy.

By David Hellerman, World Israel News

Iran is reportedly ready to resume talks with European parties to the JCPOA nuclear agreement. Iran’s state-controlled Press TV cited an anonymous source who said Tehran’s top nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani, visited Brussels for talks on picking up on the stalled negotiations.

“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.”

Negotiations in Vienna between Iran, Britain, France and Germany froze in June following the election of Iranian hard-liner Ebrahim Raisi. With the Europeans acting as go-betweens, American representatives in Vienna had indirectly negotiated with the Iranians.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was negotiated between the U.S., Russia, China, France, Germany, Britain, the European Union and Iran. The controversial agreement was primarily pushed by President Barack Obama, despite considerable opposition from Israel and the Persian Gulf states. The agreement set limits on Iran’s uranium of enrichment and the types of technology it could use for nuclear development.

President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the JCPOA in 2018, but President Joe Biden has made returning to the agreement a key foreign policy goal. In 2019, Iran began to break its compliance with various nuclear restrictions.

Israeli opposed the JCPOA and opposes Washington’s desire to return to it. Israeli officials argue that that the JCPOA is flawed and weak, allowing Tehran to proceed with research and development that would bring Iran dangerously close to a nuclear weapon. Israelis also point out that many of the atomic restrictions will expire in 2025.

Israeli officials have frequently said they would prefer to see Washington negotiate a new “longer and stronger” agreement rather than return to the JCPOA framework.

This week, the IDF began preparing plans for a possible strike on Ira’s nuclear facilities after the government approved a $1.5 billion budget for an attack.