Tehran Backs Continuation of Diplomatic Efforts to Revive JCPOA  

Iran’s foreign minister said the United States always states that it wants an agreement, so this approach should be seen in practice  
Tehran Backs Continuation of Diplomatic Efforts to Revive JCPOA  
Tehran Backs Continuation of Diplomatic Efforts to Revive JCPOA  

Iran’s top diplomat welcomed diplomatic efforts to revive its 2015 nuclear pact with major powers on Wednesday, a day after the European Union’s top diplomat proposed a new text to restore the agreement.
“Iran welcomes the continuation of diplomacy and negotiations,” Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said in a phone conversation with EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, IRNA reported.
“The United States always states that it wants an agreement, so this approach should be seen in the agreement and in practice,” Amir-Abdollahian added.
Borrell on Tuesday said he had proposed a new draft text to revive the deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, under which Iran curbed its nuclear program in return for relief from economic sanctions.
Then-US president Donald Trump reneged on the deal in 2018 and reimposed US sanctions, prompting Iran to go beyond the deal’s nuclear limits.
The US State Department has said it is reviewing Borrell’s proposal and will respond to the EU.
Borrell on Tuesday said the deal on the table reflected “the determination of all ... to ensure its sustainability, including the commitment of President Joe Biden and US assurances in this regard.”
He appeared to refer to Biden’s commitment, described in an October 2021 White House statement, “to return the US to full compliance with the JCPOA and to stay in full compliance, so long as Iran does the same.”



Decision Time 

Borrell said that “now is decision time” if the parties that have been engaged in long-running talks in Vienna want to save the nuclear deal.
The top EU diplomat said he has concluded that “the space for additional significant compromises has been exhausted,” adding that he has put a text on the table that addresses in detail the steps needed to restore the agreement.
“This text represents the best possible deal that I, as facilitator of the negotiations, see as feasible,” he wrote in an article published by Financial Times. “I see no other comprehensive or effective alternative within reach.”
French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna also commented about the deal, saying a return to full compliance with the agreement “is still possible but, for that, a positive response from Iran is needed as soon as possible.”
Separately, the White House declined comment on an Axios report quoting White House Middle East coordinator Brett McGurk as saying it was “highly unlikely” that the nuclear deal will be revived in the near future.
McGurk contended on a briefing call with a group of think tank experts last week that the reason there is no nuclear deal is that the Iranians are unable to make a decision. 
He asserted that his theory is that Iran wants the US “to add something to the pot” to help those who want a deal in the internal debate among Iranian officials, but “we are not going to do that.”
With a deal unlikely in the near future, McGurk said the Biden administration intends to use sanctions and diplomatic isolation against Iran, “but not needlessly escalate the situation.”
The most recent round of indirect talks between the US and Iran a month ago in Qatar ended with no progress and no date set for another round.
US Iran envoy Rob Malley and other Biden administration officials were to give a classified briefing to the US House Foreign Affairs Committee on Thursday about the negotiations and the status of the Iranian nuclear program.

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