Zarif & Ashton

Iranian officials report that Catherine Ashton, the EU foreign policy chief and head of 5+1 negotiation team, has been invited to travel to Iran.

Abbas Araghchi, Iran’s deputy foreign minister, reported that Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has extended an invitation to Ms. Ashton. However, no date has yet been set for this occasion.

Ashton has been leader of the 5+1 negotiating team in recent years and has met with the Iranian delegation on several occasions in Istanbul, Baghdad, Almaty, Moscow, New York and most recently in Geneva.

In November, the parties reached an interim deal for the next six months, and agreements for the implementation of the deal appear to have reached their final stage.

Ashton took over the leadership of EU foreign policy from Javier Solana in 2009. Solana had travelled to Iran on several occasions in his EU capacity, but Ashton has never visited Iran.