News ID: 323597
Published: 0319 GMT August 19, 2022

Opponents of JCPOA hard at work

Opponents of JCPOA hard at work

Ball is in Washington’s court

International Desk

Four days ago, Iran sent its response to the EU’s proposed draft and, now, every negotiating party is waiting for Washington’s response. Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian had previously insisted that reaching an agreement is possible if the U.S. shows flexibility. No clear answer has yet been received from the White House at the moment of writing this report.

Meanwhile, the lobbies opposing the JCPOA revival have increased their movements. At the forefront of the opponents stands Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid, who has no fear of calling the shots for the White House.

Other parties to the talks, including Russia’s representative, have described Iran’s response as “constructive”, highlighting that the agreement hangs on Washington’s reaction to the draft. Even though the U.S. repeatedly accused Iran of not having enough determination to revive the JCPOA in the past, Tehran’s response to the EU draft has proved such claims to be false and sent the ball back to the White House’s court.

In a meeting with his Omani counterpart, Amir-Abdollahian said, “After receiving the U.S.’s response, if Iran is assured that it would enjoy full economic benefits from the deal and that its red lines are respected, all parties will enter a new stage in Vienna.”

He stressed that no one can talk with certainty about reaching a good and lasting deal before the parties have agreed on all points.

While everyone is waiting for a response from the White House, the U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price maintained on Thursday that their review of Iran’s comments on the EU’s proposal continues.

“We have continued to convey our feedback directly and privately to the EU,” he added.

It was already predictable that as the likelihood of an agreement grew stronger, JCPOA opponents would intensify their wheeling and dealing to sabotage it. It’s been a couple of days now that, along with pressure from several U.S. Republicans, the Israeli prime minister has also tried to throw some wrenches in order to mount pressure on U.S. President Joe Biden to kill a possible deal.

Lapid has recently met U.S. Congressman Ted Deutch, who is a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, where he serves as chairman of the Middle East, North Africa, and International Terrorism Subcommittee, as well as U.S. Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides. He did not stop there and reportedly sent a message to Biden to say that the EU’s draft “goes beyond the 2015 nuclear deal and isn’t in line with the Biden administration’s own red lines.”

Lapid claimed that “the Iranians didn’t say yes to the draft and gave several additional requests, mainly on the issue of getting more guarantees if the U.S. were to again leave the agreement”.

Lapid’s claims prompted American researcher Jason Brodsky to tweet with a sarcastic tone that Israel presumes that Biden and top White House officials are not aware of the concessions provided in the EU text.

Trita Parsi, the founder of the National Iranian American Council, also wrote, “Israel thinks that Biden has no idea of Iran’s response.”

Ned Price told reporters: “There is no question that we have tactical differences with our Israeli partners when it comes to this question, the JCPOA… [But] we are aligned in the firm belief that Iran must never be allowed to acquire or possess a nuclear weapon.”

Price noted: “We happen to believe that diplomacy… centered around a potential mutual return to compliance with the JCPOA is the most effective means by which... to once again see to it that Iran is subject to permanent and verifiable limits on its nuclear program.”

Therefore, the ball is now in America’s court to show how much it can withstand the internal and external pressures from JCPOA opponents.



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