(Reuters) – The European Union’s foreign policy chief said on Tuesday he had proposed a new draft text to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, saying there was no room left for more major compromises.
“I have now put on the table a text that addresses, in precise detail, the lifting of sanctions, as well as the nuclear steps necessary to restore the JCPOA,” the European Union’s Josep Borrell wrote in an essay in the Financial Times. He was referring to the 2015 agreement called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
“After 15 months of intense and constructive negotiations in Vienna and countless interactions with JCPOA participants and the US, I have come to the conclusion that the space for additional meaningful commitments has been exhausted,” he added.
Ali Bagheri Kani, Iran’s top nuclear negotiator, confirmed that Borrell had tabled a new proposal, adding on Twitter: “We also have our own ideas, both in substance and form, to conclude negotiations that would be shared.”
US State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters that Washington was reviewing the “draft understanding” Borrell shared with Iran and other parties to the 2015 deal and would report directly to the EU.
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Borrell did not provide details of his proposal, but suggested, as many Western officials have done before, that time was running out to restore the deal under which Iran limited its nuclear program in exchange for economic sanctions relief.
“Now is the time for swift political decisions to conclude the Vienna negotiations on the basis of my proposed text and return immediately to a fully implemented JCPOA,” he wrote. “If the deal is rejected, we risk a dangerous nuclear crisis, facing the prospect of further isolation for Iran and its people.”
Under the nuclear pact, Tehran has limited its uranium enrichment program, a potential path to nuclear weapons, though Iran says it seeks only civilian atomic power, in exchange for relief from economic sanctions.
In 2018, then-US President Donald Trump abandoned the deal, calling it too soft on Iran, and reimposed harsh US sanctions, prompting Tehran to begin violating the pact’s nuclear limits about a year later. after.
(Reporting by Parisa Hafezi in Dubai and Arshad Mohammed in Saint Paul, Minnesota; Writing by Arshad Mohammed; Editing by Leslie Adler)
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