EU Proposals for Conclusion of Nuclear Talks Under Scrutiny

EU Proposals for Conclusion of Nuclear Talks Under Scrutiny
EU Proposals for Conclusion of Nuclear Talks Under Scrutiny

Iran is reviewing the European Union’s latest proposals for agreement on the revival of the 2015 nuclear deal to make sure it demands are met, an Iranian diplomat said.
“The EU’s suggestions are only acceptable if they provide assurances to Iran on various issues, including political claims about safeguards, [lifting of] sanctions and guarantees,” the unnamed diplomat told IRNA. 
The official added that the proposals must be both reassuring and inclusive of all issues discussed in Vienna. 
Parties to the 2015 deal have been holding negotiations in the Austrian capital to restore the agreement that promised sanctions relief to Iran in return for curbs on its nuclear activity. 
The deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, has been unravelling since the United States pulled out four years ago and reimposed tough sanctions, prompting Tehran to scale down its commitments. 
The talks had been stalled since March until the EU coordinator of JCPOA put forward a new initiative to break the impasse. 
The subsequent round of talks wrapped up on Monday with the EU presenting what it called its final draft text, which is under scrutiny in Tehran. 



Significant Concession

Iran demands a full removal of sanctions with guarantees that no future US government would violate the deal again. 
It also wants its safeguards case with the International Atomic Energy Agency closed. 
The IAEA has questioned Tehran about uranium particles allegedly found on undeclared old sites and has rejected Iran’s answers provided as per a March agreement as “not credible”. 
This led to the passing of a resolution by the IAEA Board of Governors against Tehran in June. 
The Wall Street Journal has reported that the EU’s draft proposes a significant new concession to Tehran aimed at speedily ending the agency’s probe into Iran’s past activities.
A draft text of the proposal from the EU, viewed by The Wall Street Journal, would have Iran agree to address the IAEA’s concerns before the pact takes effect, saying Iran is expected to answer the agency’s questions “with a view to clarifying them.”
If Tehran cooperates, the US and the other parties in the talks would urge the IAEA Board of Governors to close the investigation, noting that the request contained in the resolution of 8 June 2022 for the Director General to report on those issues is no longer necessary, the text says.
This is while the EU, US and three European JCPOA parties, namely France, Germany and Britain, had long insisted that the safeguards probe was an extraneous demand, separate from nuclear deal. 
The EU team has said this is the final text it will offer to revive the nuclear deal and want only a yes or no answer now, although Iranian officials suggest that Tehran does not see the negotiations as over. 
While no written deadline has been set by the EU for saying yes or no to the text, diplomats say the coordinator has communicated that it wants answers by August 15.
Russian officials have said the EU has no authority to set down take-it or leave-it text demands. 
Moscow’s top negotiator Mikhail Ulyanov has told Russian media that the text is “not bad”, describing it as “a very reasonable compromise.” 
He said the draft has been agreed upon almost completely and Iran has only raised questions about a few words in the text.
“These very words can become an obstacle to an agreement, as has happened before in Vienna talks,” he said, hoping it would not happen. 
He also said the two sides have reached the end of negotiations, “either failure or deal,” and no long-term talks are likely in the future. 
US officials say they are still reviewing the new text and the changes made, but have implied that the new safeguards language does not seem deal-breaker. 
“The only way for that to happen is for Iran to provide the agency the information they need,” a US official said.
“That’s our position regardless of whether it’s expressed in the text of an understanding or elsewhere.” 

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