August 16, 2022

Nuclear agreement hinges on U.S. decision after Iran responds to EU’s draft  

US sanctions 20 in Maldives over IS links


Iran has presented its written response to the latest draft of a potential agreement to revive a 2015 nuclear deal with the European Union.

It said that if the U.S. reaction features realism and flexibility, the nuclear agreement would be achieved, the official news agency IRNA reported Tuesday.

The report did not elaborate on what Tehran’s response was, but it followed months of intensive negotiations in Vienna and Doha on the revival of the Iranian nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

It appeared that the final agreement on the resumption of the JCPOA’s implementation was within reach more than ever, provided that the U.S. would acquiesce in practice to the obligations of a lasting and reliable agreement.

As implied by the Iranian negotiating team’s positions, the main differences between the sides were on three remaining issues, the report noted.

IRNA said the U.S. has vowed viva voce to show flexibility over two of the issues, stressing that, however, Washington’s pledges need to be included in the text of the agreement in writing.

It said the resolution of the third issue that pertains to providing guarantees for continued commitment to the implementation of the JCPOA hinges on U.S. realism and its would meet Tehran’s demands.

The report added that Iran’s Supreme National Security Council convened on Monday evening, discussing the issue in detail.

The council made a decision on Iran’s stance on the EU’s proposed draft.

In a tweet on the same day, Mohammad Marandi, an adviser to the Iranian negotiating team, said, “In its response, Iran has expressed its concerns, but that the remaining issues are not very difficult to resolve.

Those concerns are founded upon past US/EU violations. I can’t say that there would be a deal, but we’re closer than we’ve been before.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said on Monday that an agreement on the JCPOA’s revival is possible in the coming days if the U.S. shows flexibility in providing guarantees over Iran’s demands, the semi-official Fars news agency reported.

The latest round of the nuclear talks was held in the Austrian capital in early August after a five-month hiatus.

On Aug. 8, the European Union put forward a final text of the draft decision on reviving the nuclear deal, awaiting political decisions from participants of the Vienna talks.

Iran signed the nuclear deal with major countries in July 2015, agreeing to curb its nuclear programme in return for the removal of sanctions on the country.

However, former U.S. President Donald Trump pulled Washington out of the agreement and reimposed unilateral sanctions on Tehran, prompting the latter to drop some of its commitments under the pact.

The talks on the revival of the 2015 nuclear deal began in April 2021 in Vienna but were suspended in March this year because of political differences between Tehran and Washington. (Xinhua/NAN)