The European Union’s chief negotiator in the Iran nuclear talks, Enrique Mora, said on Sunday that he was “absolutely” optimistic about their progress.

“We are advancing, and I expect we will close the negotiations soon,” said Mora, according to AP.

Mora, who is deputy secretary general for political Affairs and director of the European External Action Service (SAEA), made the remarks after meeting with Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs and top nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani, according to the report.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said on Sunday that the Islamic Republic is determined to reach a lasting deal that will remove sanctions and revive the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal, according to Iran’s Tasnim News Agency.

“We are serious about reaching a robust and lasting deal,” he told U.N. Secretary General António Guterres, according to the report, adding that while talks are being pursued seriously the burden is on the U.S. to show the necessary “flexibility and realism.”

Top Iranian negotiator Ali Bagheri tweeted a similar message on Aug. 3, the day before talks resumed in the Austrian capital: “Heading to Vienna to advance the negotiations. The onus is on those who breached the deal & have failed to distance from ominous legacy. The U.S. must seize the opportunity offered by the JCPOA partners’ generosity; ball is in their court to show maturity & act responsibly.”

As Iran refuses to hold direct talks with the United States, Mora will shuttle between Kani and U.S. Special Envoy for Iran Robert Malley.


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