Josep Borrell
Josep BorrellReuters

Iran's Foreign Minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, met on Tuesday with EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on the sidelines of a summit in Jordan, an Iranian diplomatic source said, according to the AFP news agency.

The meeting, which was confirmed by Iran's official news agency IRNA, comes at a time when negotiations in Vienna aimed at reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal are stalled.

The 27-nation bloc's nuclear negotiator Enrique Mora was at the meeting, the Iranian diplomatic source told AFP.

IRNA said his Iranian counterpart Ali Bagheri was also present.

Borrell tweeted that the meeting was "necessary... amidst deteriorating Iran-EU relations" and that they agreed to keep communications open and to restore the accord on the basis of the Vienna negotiations.

Indirect talks between the US and Iran to revive the 2015 nuclear deal have been stalled since September, when Iran announced it had submitted its comments to the US response to the European Union’s draft for reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

While Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson said at the time that Iran’s response was prepared based on a constructive approach, a senior Biden administration official said the Iranian response "is not at all encouraging.”

A US official later said that the efforts to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal have “hit a wall” because of Iran's insistence on the closure of the UN nuclear watchdog's investigations.

More recently, the US envoy for Iran, Robert Malley, said that Iran's crackdown on protesters and the sale of drones to Russia have turned the United States' focus away from reviving the nuclear deal.

Tuesday’s meeting also comes after the EU last week imposed a new wave of sanctions on Iran over what it called the "repression" of protests and its military support for Russia's war in Ukraine.

In his tweet, Borrell said he had stressed the "need to immediately stop military support to Russia and internal repression in Iran".

Demonstrations have swept Iran since the September 16 death in custody of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman who had been arrested in Tehran for an alleged breach of the country's strict dress code for women.

Human rights groups say Iranian security forces have killed at least 469 protesters in a crackdown on the movement. The country's top security body gave a toll of more than 200 in early December.