US Still Committed to Efforts to Revive JCPOA

US Still Committed to Efforts to Revive JCPOA
US Still Committed to Efforts to Revive JCPOA

Despite remaining gaps between Tehran and Washington on the revival of the 2015 nuclear deal, the United States is still committed to reaching an agreement, a senior American official said, as prospects of a deal dimmed following the latest engagements. 
“Suffice to say there’s still gaps, and we’re just not there yet. That doesn’t mean that we’re less committed to a deal,” US National Security Council coordinator John Kirby said in a briefing on Tuesday, Washington Examiner reported. 
He added that the remaining differences do not mean the US does not want to explore ways to conclude a deal. 
“We do. But there’s still quite a bit of work for our diplomats to do,” he said. 
The 2015 deal lifted sanctions on Tehran in return for curbs on its nuclear program, but the US pulled out four years ago and reimposed tough sanctions that prompted Iran to row back on its commitments. 
Parties have been negotiating for more than a year in the Austrian capital Vienna to work out how both sides can resume compliance with the accord, formally called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, but the process has been lingering over a few final differences.
Both sides are currently responding to a draft prepared by European Union coordinator Josep Borrell who called it a “final” text. 
Iran has made amendments to the draft so as to make a prospective deal stronger and more transparent.
While Iranian officials described their latest views constructive and aimed at finalizing the negotiations, the views were not well received by the West. 
US State Department spokesperson Vedanta Patel described the Iranian comments as “not constructive” and the EU coordinator said the views had left him “less confident” about the prospect of closing the deal. 
Borrell said if the purpose of the changes was to to close the deal quickly, “it is not going to help it”. 
“The last interaction is not converging, it is diverging,” he said, warning of danger facing the whole process. 
Kirby, however, said the administration of US President Joe Biden continues to believe in diplomacy to achieve its objectives nonetheless. 
“[Biden] believes strongly that the best way to do that is through diplomacy.”



Balanced and Protected  

Tehran insists that the text of an agreement must be thoroughly and clearly set out, and be strong enough so as not to allow future breaches. 
“Iran will not accept loopholes & ambiguities,” Mohammad Marandi, a media advisor to the Iranian top negotiator said in a tweet this week. 
He also said while for Washington, “constructive” usually means accepting US terms, for Iran, it means a deal that is balanced and protected. 
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman had explained earlier that the Islamic Republic’s final alterations were aimed at removing ambiguities from the suggested clauses and making the final text more lucid and stronger so that it would not be subject to misinterpretation in the future. 
He also stressed that if the framework of economic and nuclear guarantees that Iran demands is not strong enough, the deal could be violated again as it was by the US ex-president, Donald Trump. 
Iran demands guarantees for its economic benefits of the JCPOA as well as the closure of an alleged safeguards case at the International Atomic Energy Agency which it says could disrupt the implementation of the deal in the future. 
The US has so far said it cannot give assurances that future US governments would comply because the deal is a political understanding rather than a legally binding treaty. 
It has also said it would not press the IAEA to close the case unless the agency itself sees fit after receiving credible answers from Iran.

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