The Cradle, August 16, 2022 — In the early hours of 16 August, Iran’s Supreme National Security Council delivered a response to the “final draft” of a EU proposal to restore the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), calling for flexibility from the US.
According to the Iranian Republic News Agency (IRNA), the decision to restore the deal now hangs on Washington accepting Tehran’s requirements.
On 15 August, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian anticipated that Tehran would offer its conclusion on the 2015 nuclear agreement.
“We will relay our final conclusion on the outstanding issues to the EU coordinator in writing by midnight today to see what feedback it will have and what reaction the US will show,” the foreign minister said.
Iran’s top diplomat added that, if the US responded to Tehran’s offer realistically and flexibly, “we would be at the point of agreement,” and also said that “the American side has orally agreed to two proposals offered by Iran.”
The Iranian foreign minister emphasized that Tehran is ready to reach a conclusion, suggesting a foreign ministerial meeting to announce the final agreement if the Iranian position is accepted.
According to western media reports, the EU proposal, written in close coordination with Washington, could negate the effect of US sanctions on the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
For 16 months, Iran has been indirectly dealing with the US via negotiations with the remaining signatories of the JCPOA – China, Russia, France, the UK, and Germany.
Under the Trump government, the US unilaterally withdrew from the deal in 2018. And for the first time in history, a foreign government’s military branch was added to the US State Department’s list of foreign terrorist organizations (FTOs), when Donald Trump blacklisted the IRGC.
Since taking office, US President Joe Biden has worked to resurrect the JCPOA. However, in order to appease Israel, he has refused Iran’s demands to remove the IRGC from the blacklist.
Israel has allegedly carried out assassinations and sabotage inside Iran in hopes of scuttling the talks.
Israel has also threatened a military move against Iran if diplomacy fails to prevent Tehran from “obtaining nuclear weapons.” Iran has long denied having such ambitions.
“Like Washington, we have our own plan B if the talks fail,” Amir-Abdollahian has previously warned.