The European Union foreign policy chief says the draft agreement to restore the JCPOA agreement addresses all elements with hard-won compromises by all sides.
In an article published by the Financial Times on Tuesday, Josep Borrell, the EU high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, said there is “no other comprehensive or effective alternative within reach,” stressing the need for swift political decisions “to seize this unique opportunity to succeed, and to free up the great potential of a fully implemented deal.”
Borrell said the JCPOA remains politically polarizing in Washington while the midterm elections approach as it may not have addressed all US concerns with respect to Iran, and the EU shares concerns that go beyond the nuclear issue, such as human rights and Iran’s activities in the region. “The JCPOA does not address them and was never supposed to do so. It did, however, provide the benefit of winding down the previously expanding Iranian nuclear program and opening it up to strict IAEA monitoring and inspections.”
He added that there are significant reservations over fully implementing a deal in Tehran too after the negative experience of recent years.
“The deal serves the cause of non-proliferation in return for sanctions lifting, showing that in turbulent times balanced international agreements are still possible,” he noted, saying that “Every day with no agreement in Vienna postpones concrete economic benefits to the Iranian people through substantial US sanctions lifting, as well as the benefits of non-proliferation for the world.”
Borrell also warned of “a dangerous nuclear crisis” if the deal is rejected, opening the “prospect of increased isolation for Iran and its people.”
Acknowledging the EU officials’ ideas to conclude the negotiations, Iran’s nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri-Kani also said on Tuesday that he had serious and constructive exchanges with other sides in the past week on Vienna negotiations. “We, too, have our own ideas, both in substance and form, to conclude the negotiations which would be shared,” he added.
State Department spokesperson Ned Price in his daily briefing on July 25 said, lack of a response from Iran to the proposal made a while ago is an indication that Tehran is not serious and not ready to re-enter the JCPOA.
“And in fact, every day that they drag their feet or every day that is filled with nothing but silence on their end, it’s an indication to us that they are not serious and that they are not ready to re-enter the JCPOA on a mutual basis,” he said. US officials have maintained that an offer was made to Iran after months of talks in Vienna and so far Tehran has dragged its feet.
The comments came one day after chief of Iran's nuclear program, Mohammad Eslami said that Tehran will not allow monitoring equipment of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to operate until the JCPOA is restored.
At the same time, the director general of the IAEA, the UN nuclear watchdog, Rafael Grossi told the Spanish newspaper El Pais on July 22 that Iran’s nuclear program is “galloping” forward. He added that enriching uranium at 60 percent is not needed if there are no military intentions, referring to Iran accumulating highly enriched fissile material that can be elevated to weapons-grade uranium in a relatively short time.