World powers, Iran does not meet at the UN General Assembly

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Ministers from the UK, China, France, Germany and Russia will not meet with Iran at the UN this week to discuss a return to talks on a nuclear deal, European Union foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell said on Monday to reporters.

Diplomats were tentatively planning a ministerial meeting of the parties to the 2015 nuclear deal on Wednesday on the sidelines of the annual UN meeting of heads of state and government.

“In some years it happens, in some years it doesn’t. It’s not on the agenda, ”said Borrell, who acts as the coordinator for the nuclear deal – known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

“But it is not this ministerial meeting that is important, but the will of all parties to resume negotiations in Vienna,” he said, adding that he would meet with his new Iranian counterpart Hossein Amirabdollahian on Tuesday.

In six indirect rounds of talks between the US and Iran, the world powers tried in Vienna how both can return to compliance with the nuclear pact abandoned by former US President Donald Trump in 2018.

Trump again imposed harsh sanctions on Iran, which then began to break the restrictions on its nuclear program. Tehran has stated that its nuclear program is only for peaceful energy purposes.

The Vienna talks were interrupted in June after hardliner Ebrahim Raisi was elected President of Iran and took office in August. Borrell said he would urge Amirabdollahian to resume talks as soon as possible on Tuesday.

Ebrahim Raisi speaks during an election rally in the Mosalla Mosque in Tehran, Iran, May 16, 2017. Picture from May 16, 2017. (Credit: REUTERS)

“After the elections, the new presidency requested the delay in order to take a full stock of the negotiations and better understand everything about this very sensitive dossier,” said Borrell. “The summer is already over and we assume that the talks in Vienna can be resumed soon.”

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Monday that negotiations need to resume and signaled that there would be a ministerial meeting of the nuclear treaty parties.

“We have to use this week to resume these talks. Iran must accept to return as soon as possible by appointing its representatives to negotiate, ”he said.

The Iranian mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


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