The European Union is not thinking about a “Plan B” if diplomacy with Iran fails, EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell said on Friday in Washington, as opposed to a US statement that “every option” is on the table.

“It’s time to go back to the negotiating table. And I don’t want to think about Plan Bs because no… Plan B that I could imagine would be a good one,” Borrell said.
Iran walked away in June from indirect talks with the United States in Vienna on both sides returning to compliance with the deal, under which Tehran curbed its nuclear program in return for economic sanctions relief. Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has so far refused to resume those negotiations.

Former US President Donald Trump withdrew the US from the deal in 2018 and reimposed sanctions on Iran. Since then, Tehran has been rebuilding its stockpiles of enriched uranium, refining it to higher levels of purity and installing advanced centrifuges to speed up the enrichment process.
Western diplomats have said they are concerned Tehran’s new negotiating team – under a president known as an anti-Western hardliner, unlike his pragmatist predecessor – may make new demands beyond the scope of what had already been agreed.

Borrell’s comment against a Plan B came in contrast with remarks US Secretary of State Antony Blinken made two days earlier that the US “will look at every option to deal with the challenges posed by Iran.”
Blinken, who was speaking at an event with Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and Emirati Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed marking a year since the Abraham Accords, normalization and peace agreements between Israel and four Arab nations, added that “We continue to believe that diplomacy is the most effective way to do that, but it takes two to engage in diplomacy, and we have not… seen from Iran a willingness to do that at this point.”
The Secretary of State met last week with the top diplomats from the EU, Israel, and the UAE and with Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, with Iran as the top agenda item.

BORRELL SAID “time is pressing” for Iran to return to talks, and that the Islamic Republic’s new government had had enough time to study the file and instruct its negotiating team. READ MORE

EU has no Plan B as US gathers allies to talk tough on Iran

Josh Toupos

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