Iran receives US response on final nuclear deal, foreign ministry says

Deal to prevent Tehran from obtaining a nuclear weapon was signed in 2015 but was weakened by US withdrawal in 2018

Iran Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani speaks in Tehran, Iran. AP
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Iran said on Wednesday that it had received a response from the US about the European Union's final draft for the revival of the 2015 nuclear deal with major powers, the country's foreign ministry spokesman said.

"This evening, Iran received the US response through the European Union. The careful review of the response has started in Tehran," Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said.

"Iran will share its view with the EU, as the co-ordinator of the nuclear talks, upon completion of Tehran's review."

A US official confirmed to The National that the response has been sent.

"Our review of those comments has now concluded. We have responded to the EU today," US State Department spokesman Ned Price said on Wednesday.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said Iran had asked for a few adjustments to the draft deal put forward by the EU after more than a year of negotiations with Britain, Germany, France, Russia and China and indirectly with the US.

The deal to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon was signed in 2015 but was weakened by the US withdrawal under former president Donald Trump in 2018.

This photo provided by Maxar Technologies shows four sites where Iran is developing nuclear technology. AFP

US President Joe Biden's administration entered into negotiations on a revived deal but the talks have stretched on for 16 months, with Russia's presence at the table complicating matters after the invasion of Ukraine.

American officials announced a potential breakthrough this week, saying Iran had dropped demands to block some UN inspections of its nuclear facilities.

Tehran has also relaxed its insistence on a key sticking point - that Washington remove its powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps from a terrorism blacklist.

On Wednesday, the head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation, Mohammad Eslami, said the country will not allow inspections to be conducted at its nuclear facilities beyond what is stipulated in the original agreement from 2015.

"We are committed to inspections in the framework of the nuclear deal that are linked to nuclear restrictions which we have accepted in the past ... not one word more, not one word less," said Mr Eslami.

Updated: August 24, 2022, 4:14 PM