In the early hours of this Tuesday, Iran delivered to the European Union the final version of its proposed deal to revive the 2015 nuclear agreement known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
Unofficial sources confirmed that the EU received Iran’s response to the text proposed by the European Union to revive the JCPOA on Tuesday.
Laura Rozen, an American journalist who follows developments in Iran’s nuclear case, wrote in a tweet Tuesday morning that an EU official confirmed the news. Some reports also indicate that there is no challenging point in Iran’s response, but the officials of the Islamic Republic have, in recent hours, been emphasizing on the need for American flexibility if the deal is to be saved.
Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency, for example, wrote that “the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic, Hossein Amirabdollahian, announced on Monday evening that Iran has sent a response to Josep Borrell, high representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy who is also the coordinator of the nuclear negotiations between Iran and the 4+1 and the United States. It also noted that Iran expects to receive a response from the western side in the next two days.
Amirabdollahian said in a news conference on Monday that the American side has recently shown verbal flexibility in some issues, but this should be in a written and official form. He also noted that “if our concerns are met, then Iran is ready to enter the conclusion stage and announce the agreement in the presence of foreign ministers.”
But if the US doesn’t accept Iran’s proposal and the JCPOA is not revived, Amirabdollahian asserted, then Tehran has a “Plan B” to restore to it.
US still not determined to return to the nuclear deal
In response, the United States asserted that it will give its own views on the final text of the European Union in a written form privately and directly to Josep Borrell.
The US State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a press conference this Monday that the only way to achieve a mutual return to the JCPOA is for Tehran to abandon its “extra-JCPOA” demands. Price further explained that if Iran cannot accept the reciprocal return to the JCPOA, then Washington is equally ready to continue applying severe sanctions.
The European powers had previously issued a similar statement, asking Iran to refrain from raising unrealistic and extra-JCPOA demands in the negotiations and “accept the agreement on the table.”
But Price didn’t confine himself to speaking about Iran’s nuclear case and threatened Tehran for extra-JCPOA-related issues; “Let me state the position of the United States once again, as President Joe Biden has said, we will never allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon. We will use all the means at our disposal to stop Iran. We will also use every means possible to counter Iran’s regional actions and even beyond, such as plotting attacks against former US government officials and other threats against US citizens.” Price noted Monday.
So far, Iran has shown that it has enough goodwill and is ready to accept new proposals to reach an agreement. But the same could not be said of the United States. In other words, since taking office as president, Joe Biden has been trying to resurrect the 2015 agreement with Iran, which was abandoned by Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump in 2018.
However, what Price expressed hours after Iran submitted its proposed text to revive the JCPOA is proof that Washington is not yet decisive whether to end months of negotiations and return to the deal it once withdrew from.