There are strong indications that the ground is well paved to hammer out a deal to bring back to life the 2015 nuclear accord following more than a year of talks in Vienna. Iran has already delivered its response to a draft deal devised by the European Union. The bloc’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell described Iran’s response as “reasonable” and other JCPOA parties have welcomed it. The only piece required to complete the jigsaw puzzle seems to be the U.S. stance. Iran said on Wednesday that had received an answer from the U.S. on its comments to the EU text and is reviewing it. Tehran said it would convey its views on the U.S. response to Borrell, who acts as the coordinator of the Vienna talks.
The Associated Press wrote on Tuesday that “the new developments, including stepped-up public messaging campaigns by both Tehran and Washington, suggest that an agreement could be near.”
On Tuesday, U.S. National Security Council coordinator John Kirby said President Joe Biden remains determined to rejoin the JCPOA while accusing Iran of violating the 2015 deal.
"When we were in the deal, Iran was the one that was isolating itself by not accommodating to it. So, look, we were isolating ourselves by pulling out," Kirby claimed. “Now we want back in the deal. We want Iran back in the deal so that we can eliminate the outcome of them having a nuclear weapon."
The Biden administration’s final answer to Iran's comments comes as it is facing pressure from internal and external supporters and opponents of revitalizing the JCPOA.
Israel has launched a massive campaign to pressure Biden in order to dissuade him from joining the nuclear deal. U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan hosted his Israeli counterpart Eyal Hulata on Tuesday and Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz was set to fly to Washington as part of Tel Aviv’s lobbying against a possible deal on the JCPOA. Israel is moving heaven and earth to block an agreement as the three European parties to the JCPOA – France, Germany and Britain – are vigorously trying to revive the tattered deal.
Some media reports even suggested that Biden's recent talks with the leaders of European trio about Iran's response to the draft agreement was a move on the part of the Europeans to persuade the U.S. president to show flexibility and agree to the EU proposal.
The European countries are bearing the brunt of the war in Ukraine as they are grappling with an energy crisis and are locked in a race against time to replace Russian oil and gas with new sources ahead of a fast-approaching winter.
In this context, some media outlets, including the London-based Arabic language daily Rai Alyoum, highlighted the French president visit to Algeria, and pointed to Italy and Germany that switched sides to support the North African nation in its territorial dispute with Spain, writing that the Europeans are preparing for a looming winter with such measures to meet their energy demands.
The injection of Iranian oil and gas into the global markets, if a deal is clinched, would be a special gift for the Europeans.