JCPOA delegations gather for talks in Vienna without the US, on November 29, 2021

US Finds Iran's Latest Response In Nuclear Talks 'Not Constructive'

Friday, 09/02/2022

Iran says it has sent a "constructive" response to US proposals for reviving the 2015 nuclear deal, JCPOA, prompting a less positive response from Washington.

"The text that was sent (by Iran) has a constructive approach aimed at finalizing the negotiations," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanaani was quoted as saying by state media on Friday.

But the US State Department gave a different assessment.

"We can confirm that we have received Iran's response through the EU," a spokesperson said. "We are studying it and will respond through the EU, but unfortunately it is not constructive."

White House National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said: "Some gaps have closed in recent weeks, but others remain."

Iranian state media did not mention the American response on Friday, but Kanaani emphasized that Tehran expects “the lasting removal of sanctions in a guaranteed manner.” He also said that no outstanding issues should remain “to be used as a lever of pressure against Iran."

This was a possible reference to ongoing demands by the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency to receive full answers from Tehran regarding its past secret nuclear activities. Iran insists the probe should be shelved before parties conclude a nuclear deal.

The Iranian foreign ministry said Iran's response was sent to EU representative in the talks Enrique Mora, who has been coordinating the negotiations. It gave no further details.

After almost 17 months of indirect talks between Tehran and Washington, Borrell said on August 8 the EU had laid down a final offer to overcome an impasse for the revival of the agreement.

Iran needs stronger guarantees from Washington for the revival of a 2015 nuclear deal, its foreign minister said on Wednesday, adding that the U.N. atomic watchdog should drop its "politically motivated probes" of Tehran's nuclear work.

Under the 2015 pact, UN Security Council sanctions and many Western sanctions were lifted in exchange for a strict limit on Iran's uranium enrichment to leave a one-year nuclear break-out time if Tehran decided to build a bomb.

Then-US President Donald Trump reneged on the deal in 2018, arguing that it was too generous to Tehran. He reimposed US sanctions on Iran, leading Tehran to resume previously banned nuclear activities and reviving US, European and Israeli fears that Iran may seek an atomic bomb.

Iran denies any such ambition.

President Joe Biden announced before the 2020 US presidential election that he would restore America’s participation in the JCPOA and soon after taking office launched indirect talks with Iran in Vienna.

Most Republicans and some Democrats oppose his decision to return to the agreement, since most of its sunset clauses would expire in a few years, leaving Iran free to expand its nuclear program. They also argue that an agreement will remove key economic sanctions, giving Iran hundreds of billions of dollars in revenues in the next few years and enabling it to more forcefully pursue its aggressive policies in the Middle East.

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