Iran Responds to the EU's Draft Nuclear Deal
Is a renewal of the Iran nuclear deal within reach?
- The Iran nuclear deal has been re-negotiated through indirect talks since April 2021.
- The original deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was signed in July 2015 between Iran, the U.N. National Security Council, Germany and the European Union.
- In May of 2018, U.S. President Donald Trump announced that Washington would leave the JCPOA.
- Amid recent negotiations, Iran has had three primary demands:
- The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) close its probe into the origins of uranium traces.
- Guarantee that U.S. Presidents cannot unilaterally leave the deal, as former President Trump did.
- Washington remove Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) from the U.S. Foreign Terrorist Organization list, lifting sanctions against Iran.
- On August 8, 2022, the European Union proposed a draft nuclear deal as a final offer to save the 2015 JCPOA.
- This proposal responded to Iranian objections to IAEA investigations into the origins of uranian traces. If Iran can provide credible explanations into these traces prior to re-implementation of the deal, the IAEA will close its probe on the matter.
- On Friday, August 12, U.S. chief negotiator Special Envoy Robert Malley stated: “We are considering the text very carefully to make sure that it lives up to the president’s very clear guidance that he would only sign up to a deal that is consistent with U.S. national security interest.”
- By the end of the day on Monday, August 15, Iran responded to the EU’s draft.
- On Tuesday, August 16, a spokesperson for European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell responded: “We are studying it and are consulting with the other JCPOA participants and the US on the way ahead.”
- According to Iran’s IRNA News Agency, “an agreement will be concluded if the United States reacts with realism and flexibility.”
- In a U.S. State Department Press Briefing, Spokesperson Ned Price asserted that “if Iran is prepared for a mutual return to compliance with the JCPOA, so are we. The only way to achieve a mutual return to compliance with the JCPOA is for Iran to drop further unacceptable demands that go beyond the scope of the JCPOA.”