Progress to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal was halted this Friday after Washington described Iran’s response to the EU-proposed final text as ‘not constructive’.
It was on this Friday that Iran’s spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced Tehran’s response to the final text proposed by the European Union and amended by Washington was delivered; “The comments of the Islamic Republic of Iran regarding the response of the United States about the draft text of the possible agreement to revive the JCPOA were delivered to Josep Borrell, coordinator of the negotiations and representative of the European Union.”
Kanani said. He also added that Iran’s latest text presented “a constructive approach with the aim of finalizing the negotiations”.
Details of Iran’s latest response were not immediately released. Hours later, however, the deputy spokesperson of the US Department of State confirmed that the US had received Iran’s response through the European Union and was reviewing it, but said the response was far from what Washington had expected.
“We can confirm that we have received Iran’s response through the EU. We are studying it and will respond through the EU, but unfortunately it is not constructive,” state department spokesman Vedant Patel said this Friday.
Meanwhile, White House National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said following the response that “some gaps have closed in recent weeks – but others remain.” Although Watson didn’t clarify what gaps still remained unresolved, he probably referred to the economic guarantee that Iran seeks as well as the closure of Iran’s nuclear case in the IAEA.
The European Union put forward on 8 August what it called a final text to restore the 2015 nuclear accord, from which the US former president Donald Trump withdrew in 2018. Iran has called for stronger guarantees from Washington before a return to the deal, particularly related to sanctions that have crippled the country’s economy. The Biden administration, however, has not yet shown any sign that it is interested to settle the dispute in this regard.
Also on Monday, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said the United Nations’ atomic watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), should drop its probe of Tehran’s suspected nuclear activities at three undeclared sites. The US has declined to discuss details but has opposed Iran’s insistence on closing the investigation too, just as it has declined to give a guarantee on economic sanctions relief to Iran.
All this is while as a campaign promise, Biden had vowed to follow a policy different from Trump’s maximum pressure and return the US to the nuclear deal with Iran.
Israel still trying to kill the chance of JCPOA revival
Israeli lobbies have always had a say in determining US Middle East policies, and Washington’s stance on Iran’s nuclear program is not an exception. In this regard, Israel has lately been restlessly trying to prevent the restoration of Iran’s nuclear deal.
In one of their latest efforts, over 5,000 Israeli defense officers signed and sent a letter to Biden last week, urging him not to deal with Iran deal with Iran and explaining that doing so would give Iran a clear path to nuclear weapons. “Despite your administration’s repeated declared commitment to prevent Iran from attaining nuclear weapons, this agreement creates a clear legal pathway for Iran to obtain nuclear weapons by 2031, while denying the signatories of any tools to prevent that eventuality,” the letter reads.
Likewise, several Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Yair Lapid, have been calling US and EU leaders during recent weeks not to return to the JCPOA.