Josep Borrell, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, is hoping to salvage the chance to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA. Under the JCPOA, Borrell heads the Joint Commission, which supervises the agreement.
“I am convinced as coordinator of the JCPOA that we do have diplomatic space, a diplomatic window of opportunity to dialogue,” Borrell said on Friday. “This is an occasion that we cannot miss.”
Since the US is the party that violated the JCPOA by reimposing sanctions on Iran, Tehran wants President Biden to act first and lift sanctions. But Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has suggested that Borrell could help coordinate the actions needed to be taken by both sides to revive the agreement.
While the Biden administration is demanding that Iran scale back its nuclear activity before it lifts sanctions, the US did say it is willing to meet with Iran and the other JCPOA participants if invited to a meeting by Borrell. The problem is, the US continues to call for a stricter agreement than the JCPOA, something Iran would never agree to before sanctions relief.
With the two sides far apart and the US making unreasonable demands, talks through Borrell are likely the only way forward. “We need to use this opportunity and focus on solutions to bring the JCPOA back on track in order for everybody (to fulfill) their commitments,” Borrell said.