EU attempts to save Iran nuclear deal with last-ditch effort, says report

Iran nuclear deal talks have been on hold since March. PHOTO: REUTERS

BRUSSELS (REUTERS) The European Union is making a last-ditch attempt to save the Iran nuclear deal and break a deadlock, the Financial Times reported on Saturday (May 7).

 EU's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told the Financial Times that he was seeking a "middle way" to end the impasse, which threatens to scupper more than a year of European diplomatic efforts to seal a deal.

Talks have been on hold since March, chiefly over Iran's insistence that Washington remove the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Tehran's elite security force, from the US Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) list.

Mr Borrell is considering a scenario whereby the designation on the IRGC is lifted, but kept in place on other parts of the organisation, which has several arms and a sprawling business empire, the FT reported.

The foreign policy chief also said he wanted EU negotiator Enrique Mora to visit Tehran to discuss the issue, but added that Iran "was very much reluctant" and described the diplomatic push as "the last bullet", according to FT.

The report also cited Mr Borrell as saying that negotiators would not give Iran an ultimatum.

Reuters reported last week that Iran's clerical rulers, emboldened by an oil price surge since Russia invaded Ukraine, are in no rush to revive the 2015 nuclear pact with world powers to ease sanctions on its energy-reliant economy.

Under the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, Iran agreed to limit its nuclear programme in return for relief from economic sanctions.

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