Iran nuclear deal could be near as EU circulates ‘final text’ | Nuclear Energy News
The European Union said it was time to make a political decision, but Iran appeared to want more changes to the final text.
Tehran, Iran – An agreement on reviving Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers could be nearing after another round of talks leads to a “final text” put forward by the European Union.
The bloc’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said the latest indirect EU-brokered talks were between Iran and the United States – this time also involving representatives from China, Russia and France. , Germany and United Kingdom – focus on technical adjustments to text him to propose on July 21.
“What was negotiable was negotiated, and now it’s in final written form,” Borrell wrote in a tweet late on Monday after the talks ended and the negotiators returned to their national capitals for consultations.
“Behind every technical problem and every passage, however, there is a political decision that needs to be made in the capital. If these answers are positive, then we can sign this agreement,” he said.
Russia’s chief negotiator, Mikhail Ulyanov, also confirmed receipt of the final text, saying that if Tehran and Washington do not object, Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as the agreement was officially known, could be reinstated.
Iran said Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian had a phone call with Borrell after the document was circulated, saying that Iran’s “positions and considerations” had been conveyed to the bloc and that Tehran expected “seriousness” from all parties to reach an agreement.
Negotiators from different parties expressed cautious optimism on the prospect of reviving the deal that the US unilaterally abandoned in 2018, saying progress had been made after months of lull.
However, the message from the Iranian side suggests that some issues remain unresolved, in contrast to the European narrative that seems to call for a quick final decision.
An unnamed senior State Department official told state media on Monday that Iranian negotiators communicated their “initial response and reservations” as soon as they received the European text. , promising to convey additional views shortly after returning to Tehran late Monday.
State media also quoted an unnamed official earlier as saying that the parties were not yet “at the stage of finalizing the text” as further discussions were needed.
One major remaining issue is a protected probe by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) into several Iranian nuclear sites where man-made nukes were found several years ago.
Iran has said it needs to build a probe for the JCPOA to be reinstated, but Western officials insist this is a separate issue from the nuclear deal. But there have been unconfirmed reports of the possibility of an agreement guaranteeing the end of the investigation on condition that Iran fully cooperates with the nuclear watchdog.
Western media outlets have also quoted unnamed Western officials as saying that Iran has reneged on its request to bring Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) removed from the US “terrorist” list, agreeing to discuss the matter instead after reaching an agreement on the JCPOA.
Iranian state media has denied the claim, saying that Tehran has not given up any of its key positions in the initial negotiations that began in April 2021.
The JCPOA has offered sanctions on Iran in exchange for strict curbs on its nuclear program, which Tehran claims is completely peaceful.
But former US President Donald Trump reneged on the deal in 2018, given the harsh sanctions already in place and extend by President Joe Biden. In response, Iran significantly increased its nuclear effortsand is currently enriching uranium up to 60% using advanced centrifuges.
A State Department spokesman said on Monday that the United States was willing to “quickly conclude an agreement.”
Speaking on condition of anonymity, the spokesman said Iran had repeatedly said it was prepared to return to the implementation of the joint agreement. “Let’s see if their actions match their words.”