October 20, 2021
The U.S. special envoy for Iran will meet British, French and German diplomats in Paris on Friday to discuss stalled efforts to get Iran to resume compliance with the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal, three diplomatic sources said on Wednesday.
The nuclear talks have been stalled since June, and America’s Arab partners are extremely concerned by Iran’s nuclear advances in recent months. Several Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia, are engaging with Tehran to try to de-escalate regional tensions.
Malley and the State Department’s point person for the Gulf, Daniel Benaim, started their regional tour in Abu Dhabi and met Emirati national security adviser Tahnoun bin Zayed and presidential adviser Anwar Gargash. They also met Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein.
Meanwhile back in Washington, Secretary of State Antony Blinken met on Tuesday with the head of the UN’s nuclear watchdog, Rafael Grossi, to discuss Iran’s nuclear program.
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said on Monday that Iran has never left the negotiating table and is serious about the nuclear talks. “For the other side, a readiness to lift sanctions can be a sign of their seriousness,” he said.
The U.S. and its European allies have accused the Iranians of wasting time and warned that their patience is not unlimited.
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian told the UN secretary-general in a phone call on Tuesday that Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator, Ali Bagheri, would travel to Brussels next week for talks with EU political director Enrique Mora, who is coordinating the nuclear negotiations. It’s unclear if and when the sides will return to Vienna.