Iran reacts to EU nuclear text, seeks US flexibility

DUBAI, Aug 15 (Reuters) – Iran on Monday responded to the European Union’s “final” draft text to salvage a 2015 nuclear deal, an EU official said, as Iran’s foreign minister Foreign Affairs called on the United States to show flexibility in resolving the three remaining agreements. problems.

After 16 months of back-and-forth US-Iranian talks, with the EU shuttling between the parties, a senior EU official said on August 8 that it had presented a “final” offer and was awaiting a response in a deadline of “very, very few weeks”. .”

While Washington has said it is ready to quickly strike a deal to reinstate the 2015 deal based on EU proposals, Iranian negotiators have said Tehran’s “additional views and considerations” on the EU text would be communicated later.

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The EU official on Monday did not provide any details on Iran’s response to the text.

“There are three issues which, if resolved, will allow us to reach an agreement in the coming days,” Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said on Monday, suggesting Tehran’s response would not be acceptance. or a final rejection.

“We told them that our red lines had to be respected… We have shown enough flexibility… We don’t want to reach an agreement that after 40 days, two months or three months does not materialize. in the field.”

The US has said the deal could only be revived if Iran drops ‘extraterrestrial’ issues, an apparent reference to Tehran’s demands that the UN’s nuclear watchdog close an investigation into traces unexplained uranium in Iran and that its Revolutionary Guards are off a US terrorism list. Read more

Diplomats and officials told Reuters that whether or not Tehran and Washington accept the EU’s “final” offer, neither is likely to declare the pact dead because keeping it alive serves the interests of both sides. Read more

Amirabdollahian said “the days ahead are very important” and “it wouldn’t be the end of the world if they didn’t show flexibility… Then we will need more effort and discussion. . to solve the remaining problems”.

The stakes are high, as the failure of nuclear negotiations would pose the risk of a new regional war with Israel threatening military action against Iran if diplomacy fails to prevent Tehran from developing a nuclear weapons capability.

Iran, which has long denied having such ambition, has warned of an “overwhelming” response to any Israeli attack.

“Like Washington, we have our own plan B if the talks fail,” Amirabdollahian said.

In 2018, then-President Donald Trump reneged on the deal made before he took office, calling it too soft on Iran, and reimposed harsh US sanctions, prompting the Islamic Republic to start violate its limits on uranium enrichment.

The 2015 deal appeared poised to be revived in March after 11 months of indirect talks between Tehran and US President Joe Biden’s administration in Vienna.

But the talks fell apart due to obstacles, including Tehran’s demand that Washington provide guarantees that no US president would walk away from the deal like Trump did. Read more

Biden can’t promise that because the nuclear deal is a non-binding political agreement, not a legally binding treaty.

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Written by Parisa Hafezi; Additional reporting by Simon Lewis and ARshad Mohammed in Washington; Editing by Mark Heinrich and Grant McCool

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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