BRUSSELS, Feb 19 (Reuters) – The European Union is working on organising an informal meeting with all participants of the Iran nuclear deal and the United States, which has already signalled willingness to join any gathering, a senior EU official said on Friday.
Iran‘s foreign minister said earlier this month he was open to the EU, which helped negotiate the 2015 accord, playing a role to help bring Washington back into the deal it quit under former President Donald Trump.
No invitations have been sent and there is no time frame for the meeting, but world powers want to revive the nuclear deal as quickly as possible, the official said.
“I don’t think Iran will say no to any practical attempt for an informal meeting, with all the countries around the table, that would be a basis for putting the JCPOA back on track,” the official said, referring to the accord’s official name, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will join EU foreign ministers by video link on Monday and is expected to raise the issue of policy on Iran, although diplomats do not envisage a detailed discussion.
The United States said on Thursday it was ready to talk to Iran about both nations returning to an agreement that aimed to prevent Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons, seeking to revive a deal that Washington itself abandoned nearly three years ago.
Iran began breaching the deal in 2019, about a year after Trump withdrew and reimposed U.S. economic sanctions, and has accelerated its breaches in recent months.
The EU official said Washington had already responded positively to the idea of an EU invitation to talks between Iran and the six major powers who signed the original agreement: Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States.
(Reporting by Robin Emmott, Editing by William Maclean)