by: Kate Norman
Wednesday, 17 August 2022 | The European Union reportedly received Iran’s response to its “final” proposal to revive the nuclear deal and is reviewing the proposal and consulting with Washington, an EU spokesperson told reporters in Brussels yesterday.
“For the moment, we are studying it and we are consulting with the other JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the nuclear deal) participants and the US on the way forward,” the spokesperson said, as quoted by Reuters.
Neither the EU nor Iran said what Iran’s proposal entailed, but the Jerusalem Post, citing an unnamed diplomatic source, said Tehran replied to the EU’s “take it or leave it” proposal with a “yes, but” response.
A spokesperson for Tehran’s nuclear negotiating team wrote on Twitter that “Iran wants to make sure that if the current or future US president withdraws from a deal the US will ‘have to pay a price.’”
“This is the best way to protect a potential deal,” spokesperson Seyed Mohammad Marandi continued. “If the US doesn’t have to pay a price for violating or leaving a future deal, history will repeat itself.”
Former US President Donald Trump exited the JCPOA in 2018, and reimposed heavy sanctions against Tehran in a “maximum pressure” campaign.
A year later, the Islamic regime began openly and progressively violating its restrictions imposed under the nuclear accord, mainly by enriching uranium to a higher purity than allowed—a technical step toward developing a nuclear weapon—and stockpiling enriched uranium in greater quantities than allowed.
When current President Joe Biden entered the picture, his administration pushed to revive the JCPOA.
Multiple rounds of EU-mediated talks in Vienna to revive the nuclear deal yielded little progress. EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell, in an attempt to jumpstart the negotiation limbo, issued what he called the “final” draft of the nuclear accords on August 8.
The US announced Monday that it gave Borrell a response to his proposal, and the US State Department said it was also reviewing Iran’s proposal.
Iran’s state-affiliated IRNA news agency reported on Iran’s reply yesterday, hinting that the regime did not accept the EU’s “final” offer.
“The differences are on three issues, in which the United States has expressed its verbal flexibility in two cases, but it should be included in the text,” IRNA reported.
The first two issues are likely the well-known sticking points for both Tehran and Washington. The first is that the US remove Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) from its list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations, and the second is that UN nuclear watchdog International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) close its investigation into traces of uranium found at undeclared nuclear development sites in Iran.
Iran’s mouthpieces said the US verbally agreed to drop those two sticking points. Washington’s special envoy to Iran, Rob Malley, however, said in an interview on Friday that the US will stop pushing the IAEA investigation “when Iran provides the technically credible answers that the IAEA has requested of them…but not before,” the Jerusalem Post reported.
The third issue, IRNA added, “is relating to guaranteeing the continuation of [the nuclear deal], which depends of the realism of the United States.”
In the past year, the US and Israel have both issued thinly veiled warnings of military action if the nuclear talks continue to stall and Iran continues its nuclear development.
Iran’s foreign minister, however, issued his own warning to reporters on Monday, asserting that Tehran is “looking for a good, stable and strong agreement, but if the other party talks about plan B, we also have plan B.”
Posted on August 17, 2022
Source: (Bridges for Peace, August 17, 2022)
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