On Friday, the EU’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, said the Vienna talks to revive the Iran nuclear deal now have a “better atmosphere,” and he thinks an agreement is possible.
“We’re arriving at the end of a long process … there’s a better atmosphere since Christmas — before Christmas, I was very pessimistic. Today I believe reaching an accord is possible,” Borrell said. He added that a deal could be reached in the “coming weeks.”
The eighth round of the Vienna talks is ongoing, and the US and Iran are reportedly at odds over sanctions relief and guarantees and verifications that Tehran is seeking so the US doesn’t leave the deal again. Borrell said he still holds out hope that the JCPOA can still be revived and “function as it did before the American withdrawal.”
Borrell made his comments from France alongside French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, who didn’t share the positive attitude of Borrell. Le Drian said the talks are progressing “much too slowly to be able to reach a result.”
Le Drian’s comments echoed the line coming out of Washington. On Thursday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said there were only a “few weeks” left to reach a deal and warned the US was considering “other options” to deal with Iran. Blinken had previously not ruled out military action as an option if the talks fail.