On Monday, Iran accused the United States of dragging its feet in efforts to resurrect the 2015 nuclear agreement between Tehran and world powers. Washington rejected this accusation and claimed that a deal was closer than two weeks ago as a result of apparent Iranian flexibility.
After 16 months of intermittent, indirect negotiations between the United States and Iran, during which time EU representatives alternated between the two sides, a senior EU official announced on August 8 that the EU had made a final offer and anticipated hearing back in “very, very few weeks.”
Iran provided “additional views and considerations” in response to the EU’s letter last week and urged the US to be flexible in resolving the remaining three issues.
Josep Borrell, the head of foreign affairs for the EU, expressed optimism that the United States will accept the bloc’s plan as early as this week and noted that Iran had responded in a “reasonable” manner.
Nasser Kanaani, a spokesman for Iran’s foreign ministry, said during a news conference that “America and Europe need an agreement more than Iran” because of the procrastination of the Americans and the passivity of the European sides.
Ned Price, a spokesperson for the U.S. State Department, refuted that claim, telling reporters in Washington that it was “just not true.”
As per Price, the United States was heartened that Iran appeared to have withdrawn demands like having its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps removed from the list of foreign terrorist organisations on the United States.
“That’s part of the reason why a deal is closer now than it was two weeks ago. But the outcome of these ongoing discussions still remains uncertain as gaps do remain,”Price said, adding that the US was moving as swiftly as it could to offer its reply.
Iranian-Americans detained in Iran on security-related allegations have been urged to leave by Washington. Iran has sought the release of seven Iranians jailed on suspicion of violating American sanctions.
Tehran is prepared to exchange inmates, Kanaani said, adding that it is a separate matter and has nothing to do with the ongoing talks to resurrect the 2015 agreement.
(with inputs from agencies)