A European Union proposal to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal “may be acceptable if it provides guarantees” on key Tehran demands, state news agency IRNA said on Friday, citing a high-ranking Iranian diplomat.
The EU said on Monday it had tabled a “final” text after four days of indirect talks between the United States and Iranian representatives in Vienna.
A senior EU official said no further changes could be made to the text, which has been under negotiation for 15 months. He added that he expected a final decision from the parties in “a very, very few weeks.”
IRNA quoted the unnamed Iranian diplomat as saying that Tehran was reviewing the proposal. “The EU proposals can be acceptable if they provide Iran with guarantees on the issues of safeguards, sanctions and guarantees,” the diplomat said.
The Islamic Republic has sought assurances that no future US president would renounce the deal if it were to revive it, as then-President Donald Trump did in 2018 and reinstated Washington’s tough sanctions against Tehran.
However, President Joe Biden cannot offer such strong guarantees because the agreement is a political understanding and not a legally binding treaty.
In a sermon at Friday prayers that often echo the state line, a Shiite Muslim cleric said Tehran insisted on obtaining verifiable assurances that US sanctions would be lifted under a revived deal, according to Iranian state TV. .
“We insist on getting the necessary guarantees, the lifting of sanctions and verification, and if this is achieved, then our negotiating team will tell the people that the sanctions have been lifted thanks to your resistance and power,” Kazem Seddiqi said in prayers. Friday in the capital Tehran, according to state television.
Washington has said it is willing to quickly reach an agreement to revive the agreement on the basis of the EU proposals.
Iranian officials said they would convey their “additional views and considerations” to the EU, which is coordinating the talks, after consultations in Tehran.
The 2015 pact seemed poised for a revival in March. But 11 months of indirect talks between Tehran and the Biden administration in Vienna collapsed mainly over Iran’s insistence that Washington remove its elite Revolutionary Guards Corps from the US Foreign Terrorist Organizations list.
On Wednesday, the United States charged a member of the Revolutionary Guard with plotting to assassinate John Bolton, Trump’s national security adviser, although Washington said it did not believe the charges affect nuclear talks with Tehran.
Under the 2015 deal, Iran halted its controversial uranium enrichment program, a potential pathway to nuclear weapons, in exchange for relief from US, EU and UN sanctions. Tehran says it wants nuclear power only for peaceful purposes.