Borrell: Iran response to EU proposal on JCPOA revival ‘reasonable’

European Union foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, says Iran’s answer to the bloc’s proposal on the revival of the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was “reasonable.”

“There was a proposal from me as coordinator of the negotiations… and a response from Iran that I considered reasonable. It was transmitted to the United States, which has not yet responded formally,” he told a university event in the northern Spanish city of Santander on Monday.

He added that a possible meeting on reviving the Iran nuclear deal could be held “this week.”

“A meeting was scheduled to take place in Vienna at the end of last week, but it was not possible. It is possible that it could take place this week,” Borrell said.

Borrell made the remark in an apparent reference to a response sent last week by Iran to the latest proposal it received from the European Union for the revival of the JCPOA after 16 months of indirect US-Iran talks.

On Tuesday, the EU confirmed that it has received Iran’s response to a modified text proposed by the bloc aimed at reviving the JCPOA, saying the bloc is “studying” the reply with parties to the deal and the United States.

Nabila Massrali, a spokesperson for Borrell, who coordinated talks between Iran and the P4+1 group of countries in the Austrian capital of Vienna, said, “We are studying it and are consulting with the other JCPOA participants and the US on the way ahead.”

Earlier on Monday, Iran said it had provided the EU with its final conclusion on the talks aimed at reviving the JCPOA, emphasizing that it is now the US’ turn to show realism and flexibility if it really wants a final agreement to be reached.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian also said on the same day that if the US showed a realistic and flexible reaction to Iran’s offer, “we would be at the point of agreement,” adding, “The American side has orally agreed to two proposals offered by Iran.”

Four days of Vienna talks between representatives of Iran and the five remaining parties to the JCPOA to salvage the deal culminated on August 8 with a modified text on the table.

The Vienna talks resumed on August 4 after several months of impasse, and expert-level negotiations were held between Iran and the P4+1 group of countries.

Iran and the remaining parties to the JCPOA — Russia, China, France, Britain, and Germany — started talks in the Austrian capital of Vienna in April last year. While the parties noted progress in multiple rounds of talks, the indecisiveness shown by Washington has prevented any significant breakthrough.

Last month, the negotiations were hosted in the Qatari capital of Doha in a different format, with Tehran and Washington holding indirect talks mediated by the European Union. Those talks also failed to produce any tangible result due to the excessive demands of the US.

Iran, Russia diplomats discuss topical issues on JCPOA revival

In a related development on Monday, Russia’s top negotiator to the JCPOA revival talks, Mikhail Ulyanov, said he held a meeting with Mohsen Naziri-Asl, Iran’s new ambassador and permanent representative to international organizations in Vienna, including the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

“We discussed a number of topical issues related to the final stage of the #ViennaTalks on #JCPOA,” Ulyanov, who is also Russia’s ambassador to international organizations in Vienna, said in a post on his Twitter account on Monday.

The top Russian diplomat earlier this month had voiced optimism over the progress made in the Vienna talks on a potential JCPOA restoration, saying a final result depended on how the US would react to Tehran’s latest proposals aimed at facilitating the conclusion of the diplomatic process.

“There have been reasons for optimism before, but on previous occasions expectations were not met,” he said, adding, “This time more than ever we have a great chance to cross the finish line at the Vienna talks.”

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