Nuclear: European Union and United States review Iranian response

Nuclear: European Union and United States review Iranian response

The pact, known by its acronym JCPOA, aims to ensure the civilian character of Iran's nuclear program.

The European Union (EU) and the United States said on Tuesday they were examining Iran's response to the “final” text proposed by the EU to revive the nuclear deal, a crucial step after months of difficult negotiations.

These negotiations between Iran and the great powers launched in April 2021 in Vienna aim to resurrect a 2015 international agreement, known by its English acronym JCPOA, which guarantees the civilian character of Iran's nuclear program, accused despite its denials of seeking nuclear weapons.

The “final text” proposed by the EU allows the return of the United States to the x27;accord, from which they unilaterally withdrew in 2018, and the lifting of US sanctions imposed on Iran, provided that this country respects its commitments and ceases to exceed the prescribed limits on the enrichment and other sensitive nuclear activities.

We received the Iranian response yesterday [Monday] evening. We are studying it and consulting with other JCPOA participants and the United States on the way forward, said a spokesman for Josep Borrell, head of European diplomacy and facilitator of the indirect negotiations in Vienna between the ;Iran and the United States.

Iran, which submitted its written response to the EU, considers a possible agreement if the United States reacts with realism and flexibility, according to the official agency Irna.

A State Department spokesperson confirmed on Tuesday that the United States received the Iranian comments through the EU and is considering them.

< p class="e-p">According to Iran's news agency Isna, Tehran expects to receive the other side's response within the next two days.

But in Brussels, when asked about the time needed to review the Iranian response, a spokeswoman for Mr. Borrell, Nabila Massrali, told a press briefing: At this stage, everyone is reviewing the response ( Iranian) and now is not the time to speculate on a timeline.

Mr. Borrell is in regular contact with all participants [in the negotiations], including the United States, she added, stressing that the EU did not intend to share details of the ongoing process or the positions of participants.

Concluded between Iran on the one hand and the United States, Great Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia on the other, the JCPOA was torpedoed in 2018 by the withdrawal of the United States under Donald Trump and the reinstatement of American sanctions which suffocate the Iranian economy.

In response, Iran ;is progressively released from its obligations.

After chaotic negotiations, suspended twice, the EU announced on August 8 a final non-negotiable text. During the talks in Vienna, the EU acted as an intermediary between Washington and Tehran, which have had no diplomatic relations since 1980.

According to Irna, the differences relate to three points. The US verbally expressed flexibility on two [unspecified], but that should be included in the text. The third concerns the guarantee of a lasting agreement demanded by Iran to ensure that the United States does not withdraw from the JCPOA again.

The Iranian demand to be removed from the American blacklist of the Revolutionary Guards, the ideological army of Iran, is no longer on the agenda, according to a European official. But on the other hand, there remain the lasting guarantees of the agreement demanded by Tehran and the Iranian demand that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) close the question of undeclared sites in Iran, where traces enriched uranium had been found.

For Mohammad Marandi, an adviser to the Iranian negotiating team, the outstanding issues are not difficult to resolve. They are linked to Iran's fears due to past violations by the US and the EU.

I cannot say that we will end up with a agreement, but we are closer than before, he added on Twitter.

On Monday, the State Department refused to say whether the United States was ready to approve the EU plan, refraining from commenting on the possibility of a lifting of American sanctions in the event of an Iranian green light to the European compromise.

He again passed the buck to Iran. The only way to achieve a mutual return to the JCPOA […] is for Iran to drop its unacceptable demands that go far beyond the agreement.

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