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Iran asked for ‘adjustments’ to proposed nuclear deal

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MADRID: Iran requested “some adjustments” to a draft agreement on reviving a 2015 nuclear accord with major powers proposed by the European Union, the bloc’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Tuesday.

During an interview with Spanish public television TVE, Borrell said “most” countries involved in nuclear talks with Iran agreed with the proposal, but that the United States had not yet responded.

The 2015 agreement between Iran and six world powers — Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States — gave the Islamic republic sanctions relief in exchange for curbs on its nuclear programme. But in 2018, then US president Donald Trump unilaterally pulled out and slapped heavier sanctions on Iran.

Earlier this month, after more than a year of talks coordinated by Borrell and his team, the EU submitted what it called a ‘final’ proposed text, which has not been made public, to revive the accord.

“Iran responded by saying ‘yes but’, that is to say they want some adjustments,” Borrell told TVE, without providing further details.

However, a US official said on Tuesday that Iran agreed to drop demands to block some UN nuclear inspections, the latest concession that could herald a revival of a 2015 nuclear deal.

The account came after US officials also said Iran was relaxing its insistence that Washington remove the powerful Revolutionary Guards from a terrorism blacklist.

Iran has accused the US of stalling a potential agreement, a charge rejected by Washington.

Earlier on Monday, US State Department spokesman Ned Price said outstanding questions remained about Iran’s requested changes to the EU proposal, adding that was why “it has taken us some additional time to review those comments and to determine our response of our own”.

Published in Dawn, August 24th, 2022

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