Iranian adviser suggests nuclear deal ‘closer’ than ever as Tehran responds to EU proposal


Iran has sent its response to a European Union proposal to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, state news agency IRNA reported, as the country’s chief adviser on negotiations tweeted that A deal was closer than ever, but not yet done.

IRNA reported that Iran sent the draft Vienna agreement back to the EU on Tuesday, but the agency did not release Iran’s response.

On Twitter, Iran’s negotiating team adviser Mohammad Marandi said Iran had “expressed concerns” about the project, but “the remaining issues are not very difficult to resolve.”

“These concerns are based on past US and EU violations. I can’t say there will be a deal, but we are closer than we have been before,” Marandi wrote.

The United States withdrew from the agreement in 2018 under then-President Donald Trump. Following the US withdrawal, Iran increasingly violated agreements reached under the deal and expanded its nuclear program.

Iran has said any final deal should protect the country’s rights and ensure sanctions are lifted, which could free up tens of billions of dollars in oil and gas revenue and boost Iran’s struggling economy.

Citing the position of the Iranian negotiating team, IRNA reported on Tuesday that differences remained on three issues.

In two of those questions, the US had “expressed verbal flexibility”, IRNA reported.

The third question concerns the parties “ensure the continuation” of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPA), according to IRNA. And it “depends on the realism of the United States to guarantee Iran’s opinion”, IRNA reported, citing the negotiating team.

The issues were discussed in detail on Monday at a special meeting of the National Security Council, IRNA reported.

The European Union has not officially acknowledged receiving Iran’s response.

Earlier Monday, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said that if the United States showed a realistic and flexible reaction to Iran’s offer, it “would be on the verge of agreeing”.

Amir-Abdollahian said Tehran was ready to reach a conclusion through a meeting of foreign ministers and announce the final deal if its views were accepted. “The days ahead are important days,” he said.

Last week, a State Department spokesperson told CNN that the United States was “ready to reach an agreement quickly based on the EU proposals.”

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