EU’s Top Diplomat: Iran Nuclear Deal ‘Very Close’

US threatens to increase pressure on Iran

As has been reported seemingly daily for months now, the Iran nuclear deal is close. EU officials are getting deeply involved in the process, and top diplomat Josep Borrell says things are “very close” indeed.

Borrell said a deal could come in a matter of days. If that sounds familiar, it’s because such predictions have been near constant recently, only for incidents to come up and push matters back a bit.

It’s not clear what, if anything, is the hold-up anymore. The concerns of Russian sanctions have been calmed with US promises that the sanctions won’t impact Russian nuclear activities under the Iran deal. Iran also seems to be scrapping concerns about the Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) being on the terror list.

The IRGC being removed from the terror blacklist is fueling a lot of opposition among US politicians, though reports are that the whole guard question was part of a side deal, and not directly part of the Vienna talks. Iran seemed to support that idea, saying they don’t think the IRGC’s status should impact the deal.

For anyone who has been keeping track, positive signs on the deal including from Iran are almost always followed by pessimism from the US. This weekend, the White House threatened to “increase pressure” on the Iranians if the deal isn’t made soon.

That is roughly in keeping with US strategy toward Iran, which is that you can get anything if you threaten people hard enough. The deal is so close though, that the US could’ve seemingly had the deal several times by now.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.