European Union envoy Josep Borrell arrives in Iran to hold talks

Borrell is set to meet Iran's Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and President Hassan Rouhani

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi said on Monday that the high representative of the European Union (EU) for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, arrived in Iran to hold talks on various issues with senior officials.

Borrell is set to meet Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and President Hassan Rouhani, and will discuss the course of the nations nuclear programme, its relation with the EU, and international and regional issues, Mousavi was quoted saying by Xinhua news agency.

Borell's first visit to Iran after assuming office

The spokesman expressed hope that Borrell's "important" visit will result in further understandings and de-escalation of tensions between Iran and some Western states. Borrell's visit to Iran, for the first time since taking office in December 2019, comes amid escalating disputes over the country's nuclear programme.

Josep Borrell
Josep Borrell Wikimedia Commons

On January 16, Borrell met Zarif on the sidelines of the Raisina Dialogue in New Delhi, India. During the meeting, Zarif urged the European countries to fulfil their commitments to the 2015 nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

Iran refuses to observe nuclear sanctions

In May 2018, the Islamic Republic began a set of nuclear counter-measures in retaliation for the US' departure from the historic 2015 nuclear accord between Tehran and major world powers, Press TV reported. As part of the retaliatory steps, Iran stopped recognizing the limits set by the deal on the level of its enrichment activities and the volume of its heavy water reservoir.

On January 5, the country said it would no longer observe any operational limitations on its nuclear industry, whether concerning the capacity and level of uranium enrichment, the volume of stockpiled uranium or research and development.

(With inputs from agencies)