On Tuesday, US and EU officials said they are reviewing Iran’s response to what the EU called its “final” proposal to revive the Iran nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA.
Iran delivered a written response to the EU on Monday night. “We are studying it and are consulting with the other JCPOA participants and the US on the way ahead,” EU spokesperson Nabila Massrali told The Associated Press.
State Department spokesman Ned Price also said that the US was “studying” Iran’s response. “We’re in the process of studying them. We are at the same time engaged in consultations with the EU and our European allies on the way ahead,” he said.
Details of the EU’s proposal and Iran’s response are not clear. Price said that the major issues are “largely settled” and that the “text that the EU has put on the table that is substantially based on the March deal that has been on the table for several months now.”
A day earlier, Price accused Iran of making “extraneous” demands and said there was no more room for negotiations, signaling the deal wouldn’t be revived. But his comments on Tuesday sounded more positive, and an EU official told Bloomberg that Iran’s response was “constructive.”
Iranian media has reported that Iran’s response addressed three outstanding issues. Iran’s IRNA news agency said that the US had “expressed its verbal flexibility” on two of the issues, which Tehran wants in writing. IRNA said the third issue is related to the “guaranteeing the continuation” of the JCPOA.
Biden administration officials cited by Bloomberg said there are no plans to remove the designation of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a foreign terrorist organization. Iran previously asked for the designation to be lifted but dropped the demand. The designation was implemented by the Trump administration and means any current or former IRGC member can be hit with US sanctions.
The Biden administration has taken a hardline approach to the negotiations with Iran and could have revived the deal at any time by lifting all Trump-era sanctions that were imposed after the US left the JCPOA in 2018.