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Iran’s response to nuclear deal ‘not constructive’, says US State Department




CNN

An effort to salvage the Iran nuclear deal appeared to be in play on Thursday after Washington said Tehran’s latest response to the European Union’s proposal was “not constructive”.

A US State Department spokesman said the United States had received Iran’s response to the EU’s offer to revive the 2015 deal and would formulate its own response.

“We are investigating it and will respond through the EU, but unfortunately it is not constructive,” the State Department spokesperson said.

Iran sent its response to the EU on Thursday after careful consideration, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said in a statement on Telegram.

“The text sent has a constructive approach with the aim of finalizing the negotiations,” the statement said.

CNN has contacted the EU for comment.

In early August, EU officials sent the United States and Iran what they called the “final text” of a renewed deal to limit Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for relief from penalties.

Iran and the United States have since exchanged responses on sticking points to fully implement the nuclear pact, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian both reiterated this week that an investigation by the United Nations nuclear watchdog into traces of uranium previously found at research sites not declared in Iran should be closed before Tehran agrees to return to the agreement.

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Grossi told CNN last week that his organization would not close the investigation until it received responses from Iran.

Amir-Abdollahian said in a press conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday that Iran was also seeking “a stronger text on guarantees”, without specifically naming the assurances Tehran is seeking.

US officials had previously expressed some optimism about the latest efforts to revive the nuclear deal, which the United States abandoned in 2018 under the Trump administration and which Tehran has increasingly violated since then. However, they also pointed out that gaps remained between the two sides.

It is also expected to face significant domestic opposition from US congressional lawmakers and has been denounced by Israel, whose prime minister has said “it will act to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear state”. Negotiations on the nuclear deal are also taking place amid continued concerns about threats from Iranian and Iran-backed military groups.

Biden administration officials have previously claimed that Tehran has dropped a number of demands that appeared in previous versions of the text to restore the 2015 accord, including the condition that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps ( IRGC) be delisted as a foreign terrorist organization.


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