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5th Mar 2024

Iran responds to EU's 'final text' on nuclear deal

  • UN monitors are meant to have access to Iran nuclear facilities under the JCPOA (Photo: iaea.org)
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Iran says "considerable progress" had been made on talks to revive a 2015 nuclear deal.

The proposal to curb Iranian nuclear enrichment in exchange for the lifting of sanctions was based on a "final text" circulated by the European Union.

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But Iran's foreign ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani on Monday (15 August) also said, without specifying, that after 16 months of talks more still needs to be done.

"We had other expectations from the other sides that we believed needed to be provided," he said.

Kanaani still appeared hopeful for a deal, noting discussions continue in an effort to hammer out the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

"There are three issues that if resolved, we can reach an agreement in the coming days," said Iran's foreign minister Hossein Amirabdollahian.

"We have told them that our red lines should be respected," he said, noting Tehran had "shown enough flexibility".

The United States under the leadership of the then-president Donald Trump had in 2018 reneged from the JCPOA, leading Tehran to expand its nuclear programme and breach limitations on uranium enrichment.

The European Union then last week circulated a "final text" of the replacement deal, which was publicly endorsed by Washington.

But among the possible stumbling blocks in the latest draft is the scope of probes by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) at several Iranian nuclear sites.

Tehran wants those closed as well as guarantees that the US will not abandon the deal in the future.

Reuters, citing an unnamed EU official, says that it expected a response within a "very, very few weeks."

Salman Rushdie

The latest round of talks also come amid the attempted murder of Salman Rushdie, a British novelist born in India and now resident in the US.

A fatwa calling for his assassination was issued three decades ago, along with a $3m [€2.95m] bounty, following the publication of his 1988 novel The Satanic Verses.

Last Friday, he was stabbed multiple times at a literary event in New York state. A 24-year old US-born man has been arrested and charged in connection with the attack.

Rushdie survived the attack but remains in a critical condition. Iran then issued a statement blaming Rushdie and supporters for the assault.

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