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primarily in the Middle East, the cornerstone of which is a robust U.S.-Israeli security cooperation.
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May 12, 2022
Iran Nuclear Talks Update
• Negotiations over a new Iran nuclear deal remain paused as the European Union’s lead
negotiator, Enrique Mora, is in Tehran this week to meet with Iranian negotiator Ali
Bagheri-Kani and seek a “middle way” to end the stalemate over Iran’s demand that its
Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) be removed from the U.S. State Department’s
Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) list.
• E.U. foreign policy chief Josep Borrell described the diplomatic effort as “the last bullet.”
Venting his frustration with the status of negotiations, Borrell added, “we cannot
continue like this forever, because in the meantime Iran continues developing their
• Axios reported that Biden administration officials said they didn’t provide Mora any new
U.S. proposals to the Iranians, and the United States is sticking to its message that, in
order to lift the IRGC’s FTO designation, Iran would have to agree to reciprocal
concessions on issues outside its nuclear program.
• Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh downplayed the potential impact
of the visit, saying, “the agenda of Mora, the E.U., and the JCPOA coordinator is only
conveying messages and nothing new is expected to happen.”
• State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said on May 11 that the U.S. had “no updates
to offer” on Iran, adding that “Mora has been conveying messages back and forth.”
• Shortly before Mora’s arrival in Tehran, the Iranian Ministry of
Intelligence announced the arrest of two French citizens for “organizing chaos, social
disorder and destabilizing society” in the country. Iran has a history of arresting European
and American nationals under false allegations with the goal of extracting concessions in
exchange for their release.