Iran responds to final nuclear deal proposal

16 August 2022
Islamic Republic asks US for flexibility on three issues in order to agree to a deal

Iran on Monday said there were several issues with the nuclear deal final text that the US needs to address before it can agree to it.

“We will submit our final conclusion in black and white to the EU coordinator by 00:00 this night. If the US response is realistic and flexible, a deal will be made. If the US doesn’t show flexibility, then we should talk further,” Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian told reporters in Tehran on Monday.

The EU team that drafted the final text of the proposal that aims to revive the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers had expected a yes or no response from the parties on 15 August.

Amir-Abdollahian added: “We are exchanging messages with America on three issues, and we will announce our latest comments in the coming days. We told America that if our opinions on these three issues, which are reasonable opinions, are respected, we are ready to enter the stage of announcing an agreement and holding a conclusion meeting.

"America knows very well how much flexibility we have shown; now it is the turn of the American side to be flexible …. If America shows flexibility, we will reach a point of agreement in the coming days.”

It is unclear what the three issues were, although Abdollahian indicated that the US has expressed flexibility verbally on two of those issues.

IAEA investigation

It was reported last week that EU diplomats have proposed a significant new concession to Tehran aimed at speedily ending a UN investigation into the Islamic Republic’s past atomic activities.

“A key sticking point in the 16-month-old talks to revive the 2015 deal, which puts limits on Iran’s nuclear programmes in exchange for sanctions relief, has been a probe by the International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA] into undeclared nuclear material found in Iran in 2019,” a Wall Street Journal reported on 11 August.

Related read: Will Iran take a deal?

It is understood Iran has pressed for an end to the investigation since at least March, but US and European officials have said they will not negotiate over the investigation by the IAEA, which they argue is not related to the nuclear deal.

According to the report, a draft text of the proposal from the EU would have Iran agree to address the IAEA’s concerns before the pact takes effect, and the Islamic Republic is expected to answer the agency’s questions “with a view to clarifying them".

If Tehran cooperates, the US and other parties in the nuclear deal negotiations would then urge the IAEA board of member states to close the investigation.

The report added: “If all the parties to the accord – the US, Iran, Germany, France, the UK, Russia and China – agree to the proposed text, it would put the International Atomic Energy Agency into a difficult spot, with the implementation of the deal resting largely on its assessment of Tehran’s cooperation.”

Photo: Hossein Amir-Abdollahian/Irna

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