The US National Security Council was quick to reject suggestions by Senate Republicans that the administration is ready to make major concessions to Iran.
Senate Foreign Relations Committee ranking Republic, Sen. Jim Risch tweeted on Thursday that the “The Iranian regime seeks JCPOA guarantees from the Biden Administration that it will end the IAEA probe, protect Western companies operating in Iran, and allow Iran to accelerate nuclear weapons work if a future administration exits the deal.”
The key phrase here is “The Iranian regime seeks,” which is different from a claim that the Biden Administration has agreed to make the concessions. But the National Security Council was quick to respond to the tweet within the hour.
“Nothing here is true. We would never accept such terms. We also would not have left a deal that was working only to see Iran massively accelerate its nuclear program.”
Before Senator Risch’s tweet however, information emerged from Iran that regime hardliners were circulating a list of what they called “US concessions”, including lifting of some non-nuclear sanctions, which the Biden Administration has insisted it would not do.
The claim by hardliners in Tehran, however, was different from Sen. Risch’s points and the National Security Council tweet did not specifically address these.
One crucial point mentioned in Tehran was allegedly the lifting of sanctions imposed, for non-nuclear reasons, on a large conglomerate controlled by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
Iran International asked the State Department about the Iranian claims, but the press office referred our reporter Samira Gharaei to the National Security Council tweet, which in fact had only addressed Sen. Risch’s claims.
It would be normal perhaps for the State Department not to respond to unofficial claims by politicians who do not formally represent a government.
The government-controlled media in Iran also chose not to report the claims by the hardliners.
Negotiations to restore the 2015 nuclear deal, JCPOA, have reached a crucial stage where Iran is awaiting the US response to a text it sent to the European Union on August 15. EU sources said Thursday that the US response may come “at any moment”, perhaps on Friday.
The only significant news on the nuclear talks in the Iranian press on Friday was a report on remarks by Parliament Speaker Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf (Qalibaf) at a ceremony Thursday evening.
The Speaker accused the US of bullying Iran and said, “If we don’t stand up to that country, they will not back down. Therefore, we should become more powerful.”
Referring to a law passed by parliament in December 2020 that mandated more uranium enrichment and reduction in monitoring access for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Ghalibaf said “nothing happened” when Iran disconnected the IAEA cameras in its nuclear installations… [on the contrary] “America again returned to the negotiating table.”