Iran responds to EU's draft nuclear text

Iran responds to EU's draft nuclear text

Iran responded to the European Union's final draft text to save a 2015 nuclear deal on Monday, an EU official said, as the Iranian foreign minister called on the United States to show flexibility to deal with three remaining issues.

After 16 months of fitful, indirect US-Iranian talks, a senior EU official said on August 8 it had laid down a final offer and expected a response within a very, very few weeks, and Iranian negotiators said Tehran's additional views and considerations would be conveyed later.

The EU official hasn't said anything about Iran's response to the text.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said earlier on Monday that Tehran's response would not be a final acceptance or rejection.

We have told them that our red lines should be respected We have shown enough flexibility We do not want to reach a deal that doesn't materialise on the ground after 40 days, two months or three months. The deal could only be revived if Iran dropped extraneous issues, an apparent reference to Tehran's demands for the UN nuclear watchdog to close a probe into uranium traces in Iran, and its Revolutionary Guards come off a US terrorism list, according to the United States.

Diplomats and officials told Reuters that neither is likely to declare the pact dead because keeping it alive serves both sides' interests, regardless of whether or not Tehran and Washington accept the EU's final offer.

Amirabdollahian said that the coming days are very important and it would not be the end of the world if they fail to show flexibility. Then we will need more efforts and talks to resolve the remaining issues. Failure to meet the nuclear negotiations would lead to a new regional war with Israel threatening to take military action against Iran if diplomacy fails to prevent Tehran from developing a nuclear weapon capability.

Iran, which has denied having such ambitions for a long time, has warned of a crushing response to any Israeli attack.

Like Washington, we have our own plan B if the talks fail, Amirabdollahian said.

In 2018, President Donald Trump reneged on the deal before he took office, calling it too soft on Iran, and imposing harsh US sanctions, spurring the Islamic Republic to breach its limits on uranium enrichment.

After 11 months of indirect talks between Tehran and the US President Joe Biden's administration in Vienna, the agreement appeared to be on the verge of a revival in March.

The talks broke down over obstacles, including Tehran's demand for Washington to give guarantees that no US president would abandon the deal, as Trump did.

Biden can't promise this because the nuclear deal is a political understanding and not a legally binding treaty.