Agreement on JCPOA Revival Possible as Early as Next Week

Agreement on JCPOA Revival Possible as Early as Next Week
Agreement on JCPOA Revival Possible as Early as Next Week

An agreement on the revival of the 2015 nuclear deal could be reached as early as next week in the evet of favorable development of events, Russia’s top negotiator said. 
Mikhail Ulyanov added, however, that it is only possible if all countries participating in negotiations agree with the version of the text provided by European Union coordinators on August 8. 
“If amendments, objections appear, it is difficult to project further developments now. We have to wait for the beginning of next week,” he said in an interview with TASS. 
The 2015 deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, promised sanctions relief to Tehran in return for curbs on its nuclear program, but the United States pulled out four years ago and reimposed tough sanctions that prompted Tehran to scale down its commitments. 
Negotiation began in April 2021 in the Austrian capital Vienna to work out how both sides can resume compliance. 
The talks reached a stalemate in March until the EU, as coordinator of the deal, put forward a new initiative which opened the space for the resumption of talks last week. 
Latest discussions resulted in a draft that the EU coordinator Josep Borrell called a final text. 
Ulyanov said this is not an EU text, but the one developed by all participants of the Vienna talks. 
“As coordinators, the EU’s representatives may offer compromise options, which they did,” he said. 
Iran refuses to accept the proposal as final, yet says it is reviewing the text to make sure it demands are met. 
The US is also considering the EU text very carefully to make sure that it consistent with US national security interests. 




Iran demands a complete removal of sanctions imposed following the US withdrawal, guarantees that no future US government would violate the deal again and the conclusion of safeguards issues at the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The EU proposal suggests exemptions for non-US citizens to do business with Iranian persons who have separate transactions with entities on the US sanctions list.  
US special envoy on Iran Robert Malley, however, said Washington would not lower its standards in this regard, stressing that their sanctions must be respected. 
The coordinator’s draft also suggests that if Tehran cooperates with the IAEA in clarifying the safeguards issues, the US and the other parties in the talks would urge the agency’s Board of Governors to close the investigation. 
The global nuclear watchdog has questioned Iran about uranium particles allegedly found on undeclared old sites, and has rejected Tehran’s answers as not credible so far. 
Iran argues that the issue is based on fabricated intelligence and is meant to be used as means of pressure against the country in the future, so it must be concluded before any deal on JCPOA revival. 
Malley said the US would not put any pressure on the IAEA to close these outstanding issues. 
He said the issues will only be closed when Iran provides the technically credible answers that the agency has requested. 
“As soon as … the agency is satisfied, we will be satisfied, but not before … There is no shortcut.”
The EU coordinators have made several amendments to the text that is on the table now, according to Ulyanov. 
He said the US has apparently agreed, but Iran has not yet defined its position on the text, “which is why I will not speculate on what issues Teheran may still have.” 

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