An Iranian lawmaker said Sunday that Iran will hold talks with the remaining signatories to the nuclear deal in Brussels on Thursday. The group, known as the P4+1, includes Russia, China, Germany, France, and the UK.
Iranian MP Ahmad Alirezabeigui announced the Brussels talks after meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian. “Talks with the 4+1 Group will restart on Thursday in Brussels,” Alirezabeigui said after the meeting.
The P4+1 and the EU facilitated the indirect negotiations with the US that were held in Vienna from April to June. Iran agreed to the Brussels talks after an EU delegation traveled to Tehran to press for the Iranians to restart the negotiations with the US.
Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia’s envoy in Vienna, said the Brussels talks could be a “preparatory” step to resume negotiations with the US. “At the same the forthcoming meeting in Brussels, if the Iranian side needs it, can be viewed as a preparatory step towards resumption of real negotiations in Vienna,” he wrote on Twitter.
The government of Iran’s new President Ebrahim Raisi has signaled it’s ready to return to negotiations with the US but hasn’t given a specific date. In the meantime, the US has been ramping up its rhetoric towards Iran. Last week, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid hinted at military action against Iran.
Raisi is viewed as a hardliner, but he ultimately favors a revival of the JCPOA if the US lifts sanctions. But the Raisi government needs to know if President Biden is serious about restoring the deal. So far, the Biden administration has refused to lift all Trump-era sanctions on Iran and has even implemented new ones, sending a negative signal to the new Iranian government.