US State Department Spokesperson Ned Peice

Exclusive: US Will Reject Iran's Moves For Major Change To Nuclear Draft

Monday, 08/15/2022

The United States will reject any Iranian request for major changes to the text proposed by EU in the nuclear talks, a Western diplomat told Iran International.

The diplomat, speaking on the condition of anonymity, also told Iran International’s Ahamd Samadi that the US is prepared to continue negotiations on changes in the form of the text proposed last week by the EU coordinator in the Vienna nuclear talks.

Diplomats met and discussed the restoration of the 2015 nuclear deal, the JCPOA from August 4-8 in Vienna after talks had stalled in March. The EU proposed a text based on the negotiations to Iran and the US for their final agreement. Washington has said it is ready to proceed based on the proposal, while Tehran is set to send its response midnight Monday.

The diplomat maintained that “If Iran wants to make major changes in the draft, the United States will clearly reject it.”

State Department spokesperson Ned Price in his Monday briefing announced that the US will “privately” share its views on EU’s final draft with the bloc’s High Representative Josep Borrell.

Answering questions at length, Price added that the US agrees “with his fundamental point that what could be negotiated has been negotiated, and that is why the High Representative took it upon himself to propose a text that is substantially based on the March proposal that has been in play for some time.”

Price’s comment was further proof that Washington does not want to reopen major negotiations with Iran after 16 months of exhausting indirect talks. Iran has refused to directly meet with American diplomats.

Price also underlined that President Joe Biden is adamant not to allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons.

“We will use all tools available to deter, to contain and otherwise counter dangerous Iranian activities in the region and in some cases well beyond, not the least of which as we’ve all been discussing in recent days is the plotting against former US officials and mental threats to American citizens,” he maintained.

Price was referring to cases that US authorities have said Iranian agents were behind plots to kill former national security adviser John Bolton and other Trump administration officials, and the arrest of an armed man outside to home of an Iranian activist, Masih Alinejad, in Brooklyn, NY. Moreover, the serious attack on renowned author Salman Rushdie last week has also led many to blame Iran for having condemned him to death and maintaining a bounty on more than $3 million on his head.

Many have since expressed outrage and dismay that the administration is still willing to conclude a new nuclear deal with Iran and provide sanctions relief.

However, Price reiterated the administration’s position that diplomacy is the best way to put Iran’s nuclear program back into JCPOA limits. He also added that if Tehran refuses to reach a deal on JCPOA, Washington is “equally prepared to continue the vigorous enforcement of our sanctions in the imposition of other diplomatic pressure.”

Price also insisted that contrary to media reports, the US is not about to lift sanctions imposed on Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.

In response to Iran International’s question at the briefing, Price reiterated that Iran has to drop all demands “beyond the scope of the JCPOA.”

Referring to President Biden’s position, the spokesperson said, “We have long called these demands extraneous, they have no place in Vienna, they have no place in the discussions regarding a potential return to compliance with the JCPOA.”

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