News ID: 323522
Published: 0324 GMT August 15, 2022

Iran offers its final thoughts on EU nuclear draft

Iran offers its final thoughts on EU nuclear draft

US turn to show flexibility

International Desk

The Vienna talks on lifting sanctions on Iran seem to be drawing to a close. Following the latest round of talks where the EU’s proposal was discussed, optimism over the conclusion of the deal in the coming days is prevailing.

The recent position taken by Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian has raised hopes. EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell had claimed that the proposal will both meet Iran’s economic interests and make it harder for the U.S. to possibly leave the JCPOA.

During the most recent negotiations in Vienna, the delegations reached a final draft. It was reviewed in Tehran and Washington for nearly a week and now it’s time for them to announce their decision.

Yesterday, Amir-Abdollahian stated that Tehran’s answer will be given to the EU's negotiator to the Vienna talks, Enrique Mora, by midnight. In a rational position that is on no account greedy, the Iranian foreign minister said, “We are seeking to advance the national interests and demands of Iranians in the negotiations, but the opposing side is comprised of six countries with their own considerations.”

Within this context, Amir-Abdollahian reminded all sides that no one is more aware of how much flexibility Tehran has shown in every step of the negotiations than Washington. Now, he said, it’s time for the U.S. to return this flexibility, especially by providing assurances that it will not walk out again.

“We have explicitly told the U.S. that should our reasonable views on three specific issues be implemented, we are ready to enter the phase of declaring that an agreement has been reached,” stated Amir-Abdollahian, adding that failure to revive the pact, would not be the end of the world.

“Like Washington, we have our own plan B if the talks fail,” he said.

Over the past months, the Americans charged Tehran with not having the political will to conclude an agreement. However, the Iranian foreign minister emphasized yesterday that regardless of individual views, the country is bent on signing the agreement if our red lines are not crossed and our interests are protected. Tehran’s hesitation not to cross any red lines was one of the reasons that the negotiations have been prolonged.

“We are standing at the starting point of concluding the deal,” he said, but how long it will take depends on the American side.

He noted that Tehran did not fully approve of having the EU’s foreign policy chief write a draft, but “The Europeans said that we are not your mailman.”

Josep Borrell has drawn up two drafts, which have been a mix of ideas pushed forward by the American side. Amir-Abdollahian maintained that in addition to Enrique Mora, the states of Qatar, Oman, Iraq, France, and Italy have also delivered messages between Iran and the U.S. and sought to bring the two countries closer together.

“If the U.S. is reasonable and flexible in its response, we would arrive at an agreement. But if it goes back to its old ways and tries to win concessions instead of showing flexibility, we have more talking to do. It is the job of other parties to bring the Americans closer to our reasonable views.”

Russia’s top negotiator to the Vienna talks, Mikhail Ulyanov, predicted that the nuclear deal will be signed in the coming days according to some heartwarming signals coming from Tehran. One may consider the recent phone call between Qatar’s assistant foreign minister for regional affairs and the Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to be another heartwarming signal. A day before, the Qatari official had held meetings with Amir-Abdollahian and Iran’s top nuclear negotiator in Tehran.

According to the Iranian foreign minister, the Americans have passed on a message saying that they are dealing with an energy problem with elections around the corner, asking for Iran’s help. Having Iran’s oil and natural gas back on global markets as a result of signing the nuclear deal may be exactly the kind of help that the White House expects. Tehran has demonstrated its flexibility and goodwill in reaching an agreement as long as its interests are not jeopardized.

So, Amir-Abdollahian is reasonable in claiming that it is Washington’s turn to show flexibility.

Mr. Biden, the stage is set.



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