Russia Says “No Reason” US Cannot Accept Final Nuclear Deals With Iran

As the United States weighs what many see as its last chance to restore the 2015 nuclear deal reached between Iran and major world powers, Russia’s negotiator said it was logical for Washington to accept Tehran’s latest recommendations.

Response to an article by The New York Times Explaining a newfound optimism among European officials about the prospects for a revival of the agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Mikhail Ulyanov noted: “There have been reasons for optimism before, but on previous occasions expectations were not met.”

“This time more than ever we have a great chance to cross the finish line at the #ViennaTalks,” Ulyanov tweeted on Wednesday, “the final result depends on how the #US reacts to the latest Iranian reasonable proposals.”

Asked by news week As for why such a deal seemed more likely than ever, Ulyanov said it was because “the latest (and most recent) Iranian draft proposals are not controversial.”

“I have no reason to believe that they could be unacceptable to the US,” he added. “But let’s see and keep our fingers crossed.”

Russia, Ambassador, Mikhail, Ulyanov, at, IAEA
Russia’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Governor Mikhail Ulyanov attends the extraordinary session of the IAEA Board of Governors at the IAEA headquarters in Vienna, Austria, March 2. Ulyanov is also acting as Russia’s top negotiator at JCPOA talks, where he has repeatedly urged the US to lift sanctions to get the deal back on track.
JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images

Also on Wednesday, State Department spokesman Ned Price addressed the issue during a news conference with reporters, noting that the situation was largely unchanged from the previous day when he confirmed that the US had accepted Iran’s comments about the European Union would have received.

Price said President Joe Biden’s administration is still “studying” the notes and remains “engaged in consultations with the EU, as well as with our European allies moving forward.”

He also said the government agreed with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell’s decision last week to issue a final draft text for the JCPOA because “what could be negotiated has been negotiated”.

“We have been sincere, we have been steadfast in our commitment to seek mutual return to JCPOA compliance,” Price said, “and we are grateful to Mr. Borrell and the efforts he made to get us there.” “

Price said on the same podium on Tuesday that most of the “major issues” preventing Washington and Tehran from returning to compliance have been “largely resolved.”

The JCPOA was endorsed seven years ago by China, France, Germany, Iran, Russia, the UK and the US as part of a landmark deal in which Tehran agreed to severely curtail its nuclear activities in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions. In May 2018, however, then-President Donald Trump abandoned the deal and imposed unilateral sanctions on Iran, which responded by increasing enrichment, even as Iranian officials repeatedly deny any intention to build a nuclear bomb.

Joe Biden, who was serving as vice president under former President Barack Obama when the JCPOA was reached, has pledged to negotiate a return to the deal, but about nine rounds of talks in the Austrian capital of Vienna have so far resulted in no new deal. However, Borrell’s decision to circulate the latest draft has resulted in an effective deadline, to which Iran has responded.

Borrell’s office directed soliciting comment on Iran’s response news week on comments made by spokeswoman Nabila Massrali on Tuesday.

“At this point everyone is studying the reaction and this is not the time or the moment to speculate on the timing or whatever,” Massrali said. “I want to reiterate that it just arrived last night and basically the way forward is for all participants to look at it, for the US to look at it.”

While the European trio of France, Germany and the UK have remained relatively quiet about the latest round of JCPOA developments, Russia and China have stepped up calls for the deal to be restored.

JCPOA Iran nuclear deal news in Tehran
A man reads the Iranian newspaper Etemad with the Persian headline ‘The night of the end of the JCPOA’ and front cover photos of Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and his deputy and chief nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani in capital Tehran August 16. The European Union and the United States said they were studying Iran’s response to a “final” draft deal to revive a 2015 nuclear deal with major powers that the EU presented at talks in Vienna.
ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told Russia’s state news agency TASS on Wednesday that “work on the Vienna format to restore the JCPOA is at an end.”

“All problems are not over yet, but intensive contacts at different levels continue,” he added. “The Russian delegation works closely and productively with their colleagues.”

At a session of the ongoing 10th Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference last week, Chinese Ambassador for Disarmament Affairs and Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Office in Geneva Li Song called the JCPOA “an important diplomatic achievement in the new century and an important pillar for maintaining the international nuclear non-proliferation regime and peace and stability in the Middle East.”

“At present, negotiations to resume compliance with the JCPOA are again at a critical juncture as a new round of diplomatic efforts is underway in Vienna,” Li said eliminate reaching an agreement.”

He specifically urged the US and Iran to take the necessary steps to revive the deal.

“The US, as those who caused the JCPOA crisis, should fundamentally lift the unilateral sanctions and ‘long-armed jurisdiction’ measures against Iran,” Li said. “On this basis, Iran should resume implementation of its nuclear commitments. The discussions and actions at this conference should be conducive to diplomatic efforts in Vienna.”

Back in Tehran, a movement among officials and lawmakers seemed to signal that major developments were afoot.

The Islamic Consultative Assembly of Iran held a closed joint session of the parliamentary committee on national security and foreign affairs on Wednesday. Among those in attendance were Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani and Minister of Energy, Deputy Secretary Ali Bagheri and Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Mohammad Eslami.

Just as members of the US Congress have demanded a role in overseeing and approving Washington’s eventual return to the JCPOA, Iranian lawmakers have demanded a say in whether or not reintroducing the accord’s limits is in their country’s best interests.

The Iranian session ended with lawmakers making conflicting claims about whether or not Parliament would first have to give the deal the green light, but with a consensus that some issues remained unresolved in the final text.

https://www.newsweek.com/russia-says-no-reason-us-cant-accept-irans-final-nuclear-deal-notes-1734614 Russia Says “No Reason” US Cannot Accept Final Nuclear Deals With Iran

Rick Schindler

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