An EU mission to Iran failed this week to secure a commitment from Tehran’s administration to resume negotiations over reviving the abandoned 2015 nuclear deal, Politico reported on Sunday.
A senior EU official said: “They are not yet ready for engaging in Vienna.”
Instead, Iran committed to meeting with EU officials in Brussels to discuss “details of texts on the table at the end of the last round of talks in June, which took place in Vienna,” Politico reported.
“It’s not a bad idea that we sit down in a long meeting with the new [Iranian] delegation and we go through all the texts … and we clarify with the new delegation different questions that they can have,” the senior EU official said.
“This seems to be a dead-end situation and I am very concerned,” a senior diplomat told Politico. “I hope I am wrong, but if things continue this way, we will end up nowhere.”
The possibility of upcoming talks in Brussels, the official added, “cannot substitute a resumption of indirect talks between Iran and the US in Vienna, together with all remaining signatories of the deal.”
The diplomat expressed a widely held fear that Iran is merely stalling for time: “I am left with the suspicion that the Brussels talks could be mere distraction.”
Negotiations over reviving the nuclear accord have stalled since the election of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in June.
Since taking office, Raisi appointed several other hardline officials to his cabinet in a move experts say is intended to pressure the US into making concession in the nuclear talks.
US Secretary of State Antony Blink said in September that time was running out for Iran to return to the nuclear deal.