DUBAI: On Wednesday, Iran welcomed diplomatic efforts with significant powers to revive its 2015 nuclear deal, a day after the EU’s top diplomat proposed a new text to restore the agreement.
“Iran welcomes the continuation of diplomacy and dialogue,” Iranian state media quoted Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian as telling EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell by telephone.
“The United States always states that it wants an agreement, so this approach should be seen in the agreement and practice,” Amirabdollahian added. It was not immediately clear what he meant.
Borrell said on Tuesday that he had proposed a new draft text to revive the 2015 accord under which Iran halted its nuclear program in exchange for relief from economic sanctions.
Then-U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal in 2018 and reimposed US sanctions, prompting Iran to violate the deal’s nuclear limits.
The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action agreement aims to make it harder for Iran to collect fissile material for a nuclear weapon, an ambition Iran has long denied, saying its atomic program was for peaceful purposes.
On Tuesday, the State Department said it reviewed Borrell’s proposal and would respond to the EU.
Borrell on Tuesday said the deal on the table reflected “the determination of all … to ensure its sustainability, including the commitment of President Joe Biden and US assurances in this regard.”
He appeared to refer to Biden’s commitment, described in an October 2021 White House statement, “to return the U.S. to full compliance with the JCPOA and to stay in full compliance, so long as Iran does the same.”
Separately, the White House declined to comment on an Axios report quoting White House Middle East coordinator Brett McGurk as saying it was “doubtful” that the 2015 deal would be revived soon.