EU hopes for Iran nuclear deal

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said text to revive a 2015 Iran nuclear deal was finalized following informal talks in Vienna.

“What can be negotiated has been negotiated, and it is now in final text,” Borrell said, in a tweet posted Monday, August 8.

Borrell said the deal could be signed once political forces aligned on the text in respective capitals after five days of talks in Austria.

Reuters, quoting an unnamed US State Department spokesman, said Washington was ready to “quickly reach an agreement” based on the proposals made by the European Union.

Similar statements were made by Russia’s chief negotiator, Mikhail Ulyanov.

But Tehran took a more cautious note, noting that it is not for the EU, which is coordinating the talks, to decide whether a text has been finalized or not.

Seyed Mohammad Marandi, adviser to Iran’s negotiating team in Vienna, said it was up to the parties to decide on a future final text.

In a statement, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian also said that “a final agreement should protect the rights of the Iranian nation and ensure the lifting of sanctions”.

The statement recalls former US President Donald Trump’s decision in 2018 to unilaterally cancel the agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

This agreement was reached in 2015 between Iran and the so-called P5+1 – the United States, United Kingdom, Russia, France and China plus Germany, in a structure chaired by the European Union.

Iran had agreed to phase out most of its already enriched uranium for 13 years and only enrich uranium to 3.67% for the next 15 years.

In return, the UN and EU would end some sanctions and suspend others. Iran could then access 100 billion euros of assets frozen abroad.

But Trump imposed tough sanctions on Iran, in response, expanding its nuclear program and breaking limits on uranium enrichment.

Some of the major issues with the latest deal include the reach of International Atomic Energy Agency probes at several Iranian nuclear sites. Iran wants these investigations to end so that the deal can be reinstated.

Iran also wanted its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps removed from the US terror list, a request it has since dropped.


Fr

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