The European Union’s self-declared final text of a resurrected nuclear agreement with Iran has not yet won over the United States.
“There are still gaps. We haven’t arrived yet, “John Kirby, the coordinator for strategic communications at the National Security Council, told reporters on Wednesday.
After reviewing Iran’s written proposal for many days, the United States transmitted its answer to the European Union on Wednesday.
After receiving Iran’s feedback on the EU’s final plan for more than a week, State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters on Wednesday, “We have finished looking through those remarks. Today, we answered to the EU.”
Following months of indirect negotiations between the U.S. and Iran with the EU serving as the mediator, the State Department refused to comment on the potential next steps or a timetable.
On Wednesday, the Iranian foreign ministry acknowledged receiving the American answer and said that a “deep assessment” had started.
Kirby said that “Iran did acquiesce to certain concessions, and that has helped us to reach where we are in the process, and we are closer today than we were even just a few of weeks ago.”
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog, has questions for Iran, Kirby said. “That is not going to impact our stance at all.”
He said, “The IAEA found (uranium) particles and is now in need of information regarding where they originated from.
The 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), an international deal under which Iran halted its nuclear program in return for the lifting of international sanctions, was one of President Biden’s campaign promises. Under President Trump, the United States left the agreement because he said it wasn’t severe enough on Iran for its unaddressed disruptive behavior in the Middle East.
The present agreement on the table, according to Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid, is a “poor one” and “does not satisfy the conditions established by President Biden himself: stopping Iran from becoming a nuclear state.”
Lapid said that despite the EU having previously completed its draft for an agreement, “the Iranians are making demands anew.” He said that the text now seems to be less definitive and that “the negotiators are willing to make compromises, again.”
The red line is drawn by the Western nations, crossed by Iran, and then moved, according to Lapid. Why didn’t the world “leave it” if the Iranians didn’t “take it?”
He emphasized that Israel is not a party to the agreement and is still free to take action against Iran to stop it from building a weapon. Israel has long claimed that the JCPOA, the 2015 nuclear agreement reached between Iran and the Obama administration, as well as Western friends and partners, would not, in the long term, prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon.
Prior to a meeting with Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman on Wednesday, Israel’s national security advisor, Eyal Hulata, met with his American counterpart, Jake Sullivan, at the White House on Tuesday.
The agreement that is now on the table, according to Lapid, “would provide Iran $100 billion a year,” and he warned that the Islamic Republic would use the money to finance operations by the Revolutionary Guards and militias it supports all throughout the Middle East.
In response to an assault on American personnel on August 15 “by Iran-backed groups,” the U.S. military carried out precise airstrikes on facilities used by organizations connected to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard in Deir Ezzor, Syria, according to confirmation from U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) earlier on Wednesday.
According to Dr. Colin Kahl, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, “whether the JCPOA is revived or not, it truly has nothing to do with our determination and commitment to protect ourselves.” Kahl noted Tuesday’s American airstrikes on militants in Syria that were supported by Iran and said, “I believe the attack last night was a very clear statement to the Iranians that these things are on separate tracks.”