A top Iranian official said that Tehran may be willing to accept a new proposal by the European Union to reach a nuclear deal if its demands are met, reports said Friday.
Speaking to state news agency IRNA, an Iranian diplomat said reviving the 2015 nuclear deal could “be acceptable” if the EU “provides assurances,” first reported Reuters.
The EU on Monday said it had presented a “final” proposal to shore up nuclear assurances with Iran nearly a year and a half after indirect negotiations with Washington and Tehran started.
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“What can be negotiated has been negotiated, and it’s now in a final text,” the E.U. foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell Fontelles, said on Twitter Monday.
Western officials have been warning for months that time is running out to shore up negotiations, but an EU official told Reuters Friday they believe a final decision on a deal will be reached within “very, very few weeks.”
Tehran does not appear to have spoken publicly about the latest proposal, but an unidentified Iranian diplomat told Tehran’s state publication that the “Proposals by the EU can be acceptable if they provide Iran with assurance on the issues of safeguards, sanctions and guarantees.”
It remains unclear what guarantees Iran is now looking for though talks have consistently stalled over the last 15 months, in part, over two major sticking points.
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Tehran has previously demanded assurances from the U.S. that no future president could renege on the deal after former President Trump pulled out of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and slapped Iran with stiff sanctions.
In 2018 the Trump administration reneged on the deal over frustration regarding Tehran’s continued testing of ballistic missiles, despite reassurances from the United Nations nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, that Iran was complying with the JCOPA.
By 2019, Iran, struggling under crippling sanctions, claimed the JCPOA had been voided by Washington and resumed its nuclear developments.
But the U.S. has reportedly said there is no way for it to provide long-lasting assurances over U.S. participation in the deal given its four-year presidential election cycle.
Iran has also called on the Biden administration to remove the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps from its foreign terrorist organization watch list – a demand Washington has also reportedly rejected.