While the European Union says it has prepared the text of the “best possible nuclear agreement”, both Iran and the United States have announced that they will examine it and present their views to the European authorities.
As the latest development regarding the revival of Iran’s nuclear deal, the EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell announced last week that he had drawn up a new text for a nuclear agreement between Tehran and Washington, taking into account the concerns of both sides.
Borrell noted that what he has prepared is “the best feasible option” that can both reduce Iran’s sanctions and address the international community’s concern about Iran’s nuclear program. The top EU diplomat also expressed concern that a “dangerous nuclear crisis” could occur if the agreement is rejected, and that those involved in negotiations have a “joint responsibility” to ink it.
Reacting to the proposal, Ali Bagheri Kani, Iran’s chief negotiator, said that Iran will examine Borrel’s proposal and it also “has its opinion on both the content and the form” of any agreement to reach a conclusion.
In a similar statement, Ned Price, the spokesperson of the US State Department, said Washington is reviewing the “draft memorandum of understanding on the joint return to the implementation of the JCPOA”. Price also said Washington will share its views on the text directly with the EU, emphasizing that “currently, time is very important for the success of negotiations, and for this reason, we will quickly finish the review”.
Is there any light at the end of the tunnel?
Notwithstanding the EU’s new proposal, whether Tehran and Washington can finally reach to a common ground and ink a new nuclear deal is still uncertain. And this could very well be concluded from the recent statements by Iran, the US, and the IAEA.
Last week on Monday, Mohammad Eslami, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of the Islamic Republic, announced that Tehran will keep the security cameras of its nuclear centers off until the fate of the JCPOA agreement is determined. He added that “IAEA cameras have been installed in nuclear centers to clear up accusations, and if these accusations are going to continue, there is no reason for them to remain on. The cameras are collected and sealed by the agency itself and kept in the facility until the day they return to the agreement.”
Following the passage of a June IAEA Boards resolution, Iran removed dozens of IAEA monitoring cameras that had been kept in place under a temporary arrangement reached with the IAEA back in February last year.
Ned Price rebuked the decision back then and considered it as extremely regrettable. “Iran’s decision to turn off several cameras and only reduce transparency in response to a very clear request from the international community for more transparency,” he asserted.
Eslami’s statement was in fact a reaction to what Rafael Grossi, head of the IAEA, had said a day earlier. In an interview with CNN, Grossi noted that “we do not have any accurate information that Iran is making nuclear weapons or not because they have restricted our access and our monitoring of their nuclear activities.”
Criticizing Grossi’s remarks, Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Nasser Kanaani accused him of having “unprofessional, unfair and unconstructive views” on Tehran’s nuclear program. Kanaani also added that if the US showed goodwill, Iran could return to the nuclear deal soon; “Iran is committed to negotiation and will continue it until a good and sustainable deal is reached,” he said at his weekly news conference last Monday.