by: Kate Norman
Tuesday, 16 August 2022 | Iran let an unofficial deadline come and go Monday night for a response to the European Union’s (EU) proposal to revive the 2015 nuclear deal.
Iran’s foreign minister said Tehran would send a final proposal for terms to revive the 2015 nuclear accord by midnight Monday, state-affiliated Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported yesterday.
The proposal was to be Iran’s response to the EU’s “final text” agreement released after the last round of talks on August 8.
“If our opinion is accepted, we are ready to conclude and announce the accord at a meeting of foreign ministers,” Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian told reporters yesterday.
Yet the deadline passed by without Tehran’s promised proposal.
The foreign minister claimed, “The American side has verbally accepted the two demands” from the Islamic Republic, likely referring to Iran’s two sticking points on returning to the nuclear deal.
The first condition is that Washington will remove the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) from its list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations. The second is that UN watchdog International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) drop its investigation into Iran’s undeclared nuclear sites where traces of uranium were found.
However, despite the foreign minister’s claim, the United States reportedly has not balked on those demands.
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 yesterday, 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.”
Former US President Donald Trump exited the nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in 2018, and reimposed heavy sanctions against Tehran in a “maximum pressure” campaign.
When current President Joe Biden entered the picture, however, his administration pushed to restart nuclear talks to revive the JCPOA.
The EU-mediated talks in Vienna have yielded little measurable progress with both sides drawing red lines that the other refuses to cross.
Last week, Russia launched an Iranian satellite into orbit from a Russian spaceport in Kazakhstan, which Western media warned that Iran could use to spy on its Western enemies, particularly Israel.
Washington recently issued a travel visa for Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi to enter the United States to give an address to the United Nations at its headquarters in New York next month.
Seven senators had written a letter earlier this month to the president demanding that President Raisi and his delegation’s travel visas be revoked.
“Raisi’s involvement in mass murder and the Iranian regime’s campaign to assassinate US officials on American soil make allowing Raisi and his henchmen to enter our country an inexcusable threat to national security,” the senators wrote.
Last week the US Justice Department charged an IRGC member for conspiring to assassinate John Bolton, who served as National Security Advisor under former President Trump.
The Justice Department said the assassination plot was likely an act of revenge for the 2020 drone strike by the US that killed IRGC commander Qassem Soleimani.
Iranian President Raisi also has been under US sanctions since 2019 due to his involvement as a chief prosecutor in mass executions in Iran in 1988.
A State Department spokesperson told the Jewish News Syndicate that the organization is “generally obligated under the United Nations Headquarters Agreement to facilitate travel” for UN representatives.
“We take our obligations under the UN Headquarters Agreement seriously,” the spokesperson added. “At the same time, the Biden administration has not and will not waver in protecting and defending all Americans against threats of violence and terrorism.”
Posted on August 16, 2022
Source: (Bridges for Peace, August 16, 2022)
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