Friday, October 7, 2022

Russia says Iran’s response to EU proposal no obstacle to final nuclear deal

A senior Russian diplomat has said Iran's response to the European Union’s draft text for the revival of the 2015 nuclear deal constitutes no "serious obstacle" to a final agreement between Tehran and the remaining parties to the landmark accord.

“Indeed, there are no issues in the Iranian response that could be a serious obstacle on the way towards the agreement,” Mikhail Ulyanov, the head of the Russian delegation to the talks in the Austrian capital city of Vienna, said in a Twitter post on Monday.

He once again stressed the important role of the negotiating parties’ political will in reaching a final agreement on the revival of the nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

“The conclusion of the #ViennaTalks depends exclusively on the political will of the participating states,” the senior Russian diplomat added

Ulyanov’s tweet came after Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said earlier in the day that Tehran is awaiting an official response from the US.

“In its response to the EU coordinator, Iran has not raised new issues that could be obstacle to an agreement and conclusion of the talks. There have been no new demands…Other parties use propaganda to get more concessions,” Kan’ani stated during his weekly press conference.

The United States, under former President Donald Trump, abandoned the agreement in May 2018 and reinstated unilateral sanctions that the agreement had lifted.

The talks to salvage the agreement kicked off in the Austrian capital city of Vienna in April last year, months after Joe Biden succeeded Trump, with the intention of examining Washington’s seriousness in rejoining the deal and removing anti-Iran sanctions.

Despite notable progress, the US’ indecisiveness and procrastination caused multiple interruptions in the marathon talks.

Four days of intense talks between representatives of Iran and the five remaining parties to the JCPOA ended on August 8 with a modified text proposed by the EU on the table.

Iran submitted its response to the EU draft proposal on August 15, a week after the latest round of talks wrapped up. After submitting its response, Tehran urged Washington to show “realism and flexibility” in order to reach an agreement.

However, it took almost ten days for the Biden administration to submit its response to Iran’s comments on the EU draft.

An adviser to Iranian negotiators at the Vienna talks noted on Sunday that there could have been a deal on reviving the JCPOA months ago if the United States and its European allies had not “dragged their feet.”

“If the US/E3 had not dragged their feet in Vienna, there could have been a deal months ago. The current text was achievable long ago,” Mohammad Marandi wrote on Twitter.

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