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Iran Willing to Accept EU Proposal If It Provides Tehran with 'Guarantees'


Asharq Al-Awsat


Iran is reviewing the European proposal to revive the 2015 nuclear deal and might agree to it if they assure the issues of safeguards, sanctions, and guarantees, Iranian media quoted an unidentified Iranian diplomat.
Iran is seeking guarantees that no future US president will withdraw from the agreement, as former President Donald Trump did in 2018, and restored harsh US sanctions on Iran.
Western diplomats pointed out that US President Joe Biden may not be able to provide such assurances because the nuclear agreement is just a political understanding and not a legally binding treaty.
On Friday, Kazem Seddiqi said in his prayer sermon that Tehran insisted on obtaining verifiable guarantees that US sanctions would be lifted after the agreement was revived.
"We insist on getting the necessary guarantees, the lifting of sanctions and verification, and if this is achieved, then our negotiating team will tell the people that sanctions have been lifted thanks to your resistance and power," Seddiqi said during Friday prayers, according to state TV.
On Monday, the European Union said it had submitted a "final" text after four days of indirect talks between US and Iranian officials in Vienna.
A senior EU official said no further changes could be made to the text, which has been under negotiation for 15 months, adding that he expected a final decision from the parties within "very, very few weeks."
Iranian officials said they would convey their "additional views and considerations" to the Union coordinating the talks after consultations in Tehran.
For its part, the US administration confirmed Thursday evening that it is ready to "immediately conclude and implement the deal" to the nuclear agreement with Tehran if Iran dropped its additional demands that go beyond the agreement signed in 2015, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
US State Department Deputy Spokesman Vedant Patel briefed reporters in Washington on the latest developments related to the Vienna talks.
Patel noted that the US administration, along with "our allies and partners, are preparing equally for scenarios with and without a mutual return to the full implementation of the JCPOA."
Reviving the 2015 agreement seemed imminent in March, but the 11-month indirect talks between Iran and the US in Vienna faltered because Tehran insisted that Washington remove the Revolutionary Guards from the US list of foreign terrorist organizations.
Under the 2015 deal, Iran limited its uranium enrichment program, which may be a pathway to obtaining nuclear weapons, in return for sanction relief.
Tehran insists it only wants nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
On Wednesday, the US accused an IRGC member of plotting to assassinate Trump's national security adviser John Bolton, but Washington said it did not believe the charges should affect nuclear talks with Tehran.

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