On Tuesday, a spokesman for Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Iran’s Supreme National Security Council rejected a draft agreement negotiated in Vienna indirectly with the US to restore the nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA.
Rouahni’s spokesman Ali Rabiee said the agreement included the lifting of most major sanctions and a US return to the JCPOA, although his claim was disputed by another Iranian spokesman for the Security Council who said no “agreement” had been made.
Rabiee said the Security Council rejected the draft proposal because it did not comply with a law passed by Iran’s parliament in December 2020 in response to the Israeli assassination of Iranian scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh. The law required Iran to increase some uranium enrichment to 20 percent if the US does not lift sanctions on Iran to return to the JCPOA.
“The committee formed in the Supreme National Security Council decided the draft agreement is incompatible with the law passed by parliament in December about resuming Iran’s nuclear program,” he said.
Keyvan Khosravi, a spokesman for the Security Council, appeared to dispute the idea that a proposal was presented by the US. “Saying that there was an agreement or disagreement about something which is not real isn’t relevant,” he said. Khosravi said the Security Council discussed “a number of important issues on which the Vienna talks have failed to reach an agreement due to the bullying of the US and some European parties.”
The last round of JCPOA talks concluded in Vienna on June 20th. When they were concluded, Rouhani’s government said an agreement had been reached on most major sanctions. But the US quickly rejected the idea that an agreement had been made. A State Department official said, “Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.”
The next round of talks will start after Iran’s President-elect Ebrahim Raisi replaces Rouhani in August. Raisi is viewed as a hardliner, but he favors a revival of the JCPOA if the US returns to its commitments and lifts sanctions. The issue is, the Biden administration refuses to lift all Trump-era sanctions, forcing Iran to either make a major concession by negotiating limited sanctions relief or end the talks.