The European Union’s foreign policy chief said on Tuesday that he had proposed a new draft text to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, saying there is no room left for a bigger sale.
“I have now put on the table a text that addresses, in precise detail, the sanctions lifting as well as the nuclear steps needed to restore the JCPOA,” the European Union’s Josep Borrell wrote in an essay in the Financial Times. He referred to the 2015 deal called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
“After 15 months of intense, constructive negotiations in Vienna and countless interactions with the JCPOA participants and the U.S., I have concluded that the space for additional significant compromises has been exhausted,” he added.
Ali Bagheri Kani, Iran’s lead nuclear negotiator, confirmed Borrell had put forth a new proposal, adding on Twitter, “We, too, have our own ideas, both in substance & form, to conclude the negotiations which would be shared.”
US State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters that Washington was reviewing the “draft understanding” shared with Iran and other parties for the 2015 deal and would respond directly to the EU.
Borrell did not provide details about his proposal. Still, as many Western officials have done before, they suggested that time was running out to restore the agreement under which Iran limited its nuclear program in exchange for economic sanctions relief.
“It is now time for swift political decisions to conclude the Vienna negotiations on the basis of my proposed text and to return to a fully implemented JCPOA immediately,” he wrote. “If the deal is rejected, we risk a dangerous nuclear crisis, set against the prospect of increased isolation for Iran and its people.”
Under the nuclear pact, Tehran limited its uranium enrichment program, a potential pathway to nuclear weapons. However, Iran says it seeks only civilian atomic energy in exchange for relief from economic sanctions.
In 2018, then-U.S. President Donald Trump abandoned the deal, calling it too soft on Iran, and reimposed harsh U.S. sanctions, spurring Tehran to begin breaching the nuclear limits in the pact about a year later.