EU Top Envoy to Iran Nuclear Talks Says Confident Deal Will Be Reached

Deputy Secretary General of the European External Action Service (EEAS), Enrique Mora, speaks to the media outside a hotel, during a meeting of the JCPOA Joint Commission, in Vienna, Austria, May 19, 2021. (Reuters)
Deputy Secretary General of the European External Action Service (EEAS), Enrique Mora, speaks to the media outside a hotel, during a meeting of the JCPOA Joint Commission, in Vienna, Austria, May 19, 2021. (Reuters)
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EU Top Envoy to Iran Nuclear Talks Says Confident Deal Will Be Reached

Deputy Secretary General of the European External Action Service (EEAS), Enrique Mora, speaks to the media outside a hotel, during a meeting of the JCPOA Joint Commission, in Vienna, Austria, May 19, 2021. (Reuters)
Deputy Secretary General of the European External Action Service (EEAS), Enrique Mora, speaks to the media outside a hotel, during a meeting of the JCPOA Joint Commission, in Vienna, Austria, May 19, 2021. (Reuters)

The EU official leading talks to revive Iran's nuclear deal said on Wednesday he was "quite sure" an agreement would be reached as the negotiations adjourned for a week.

The talks resumed in Vienna on May 7 with the remaining parties to the deal - Iran, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany - meeting in the basement of a luxury hotel, and the United States based in another hotel across the street.

Iran has refused to hold direct talks with the United States on how to resume compliance with the deal, which former President Donald Trump abandoned in 2018, prompting Tehran to begin violating its terms about a year later.

"I am quite sure that there will be a final agreement... I think we are on the right track and we will get an agreement," Enrique Mora, who is coordinating indirect talks between Iran and the United States, told reporters at the end of a fourth round of negotiations in Vienna.

Russia's envoy, Mikhail Ulyanov, said on Twitter that participants felt there had been good progress after the latest round and that a deal was "within reach". Ulyanov said he hoped that next week would be the final round.

Asked if he was saying there would be a deal in the next round, Mora said: "I cannot venture such a prediction. What I can venture is that there will be an agreement, yeah, sure."

'Good' progress
Ahead of the meeting, Iran's top nuclear negotiator Abbas Araqchi told Iranian state TV there had been "good" progress in the talks but "several key issues needed further discussions".

The crux of the original agreement was that Iran committed to rein in its nuclear program to make it harder to obtain the fissile material for a nuclear weapon in return for relief from US, EU and UN sanctions.

"An agreement is shaping up. Now a common understanding on what still needed for US return to #JCPOA, lifting of related sanctions and the resumption of nuclear commitments by Iran," Mora said on Twitter, referring to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

Officials have said they hope to reach a deal by May 21, when an agreement between Tehran and the IAEA, the UN nuclear watchdog, on continued monitoring of some Iranian nuclear activities is due to expire.

Mora said Iran was continuing to negotiate with the IAEA on extending that agreement.



Trump Mocks Democrats in First Campaign Rally after Assassination Attempt

Donald Trump and Sen. J.D. Vance, Grand Rapids, Michigan, July 20, 2024. REUTERS/Tom Brenner Purchase Licensing Rights
Donald Trump and Sen. J.D. Vance, Grand Rapids, Michigan, July 20, 2024. REUTERS/Tom Brenner Purchase Licensing Rights
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Trump Mocks Democrats in First Campaign Rally after Assassination Attempt

Donald Trump and Sen. J.D. Vance, Grand Rapids, Michigan, July 20, 2024. REUTERS/Tom Brenner Purchase Licensing Rights
Donald Trump and Sen. J.D. Vance, Grand Rapids, Michigan, July 20, 2024. REUTERS/Tom Brenner Purchase Licensing Rights

Donald Trump held his first campaign rally on Saturday since he narrowly escaped an assassination attempt one week ago, poking fun at Democrats in turmoil at a heavily secured indoor arena in the election battleground state of Michigan, Reuters reported.

Fresh from his nominating convention where his takeover of the Republican Party was cemented, Trump appeared in Grand Rapids with his new vice presidential pick, Senator J.D. Vance from Ohio. They took the stage in their first campaign event together with the Republican Party unified behind them.

In contrast, it is no longer certain that President Joe Biden will be the Democratic Party's nominee facing Trump in the Nov. 5 election.

Biden has faced calls from some senior Democrats to end his re-election bid after his poor debate performance last month raised concerns over whether he could beat Trump or complete another four-year term.

Trump mocked Democrats, saying they wanted to kick Biden off the ticket after he won their presidential nominating contest.

"They have a couple of problems. No. 1, they have no idea who their candidate is," Trump said to laughter and jeers. "This guy goes and he gets the votes and now they want to take it away."

"As you're seeing, the Democrat Party is not the party of democracy. They're really the enemies of democracy."

He added: "And they keep saying, 'He's a threat to democracy.' I'm saying, 'What the hell did I do for democracy?'

Last week, I took a bullet for democracy."

Opinion polls show a tight race between the two men at a national level but Biden trailing Trump in the battleground states that will likely determine the winner.

Many Democrats fear he may not have a realistic path to victory and that the party needs a new candidate to take on Trump.

There was a heavy police presence at Trump's rally in Grand Rapids on Saturday, with police on every street corner for several blocks.

US Secret Service officers were positioned on the top balconies in the Van Andel Arena, giving them a bird's eye view of the crowd inside.

Bag searches for those entering the indoor arena earlier in the day were long and thorough, and the Secret Service sweep of the building took about an hour longer than usual.

The rally in Butler, Pennsylvania, last weekend was outdoors. At that event, the gunman was able to scale the roof of a building outside the Secret Service perimeter before opening fire on Trump, clipping his ear, killing a rally-goer and wounding several others.

The Secret Service, which is responsible for protecting Trump, declined to comment on security for the Grand Rapids event. An investigation is under way into the security failures at the Butler rally.

Trump gave a detailed account of his narrow brush with death in his convention speech on Thursday, telling the audience that he was only talking to them "by the grace of Almighty God."

Trump's former physician, Ronny Jackson, said on Saturday that the former president is recovering as expected from the gunshot wound to his right ear, but noted intermittent bleeding and said Trump may require a hearing exam.

The bullet fired by the would-be assassin at the July 13 rally in Pennsylvania came "less than a quarter of an inch from entering his head," said Jackson, a Republican congressman from Texas who had served as physician to Presidents Trump and Barack Obama.