EU Foreign Policy Chief Says Iran Nuclear Deal ‘In Danger’

Iran rejected the characterization from the US and EU that its latest response was not constructive

The European Union’s top diplomat on Monday said that the prospects of reviving the Iran nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA, are “in danger” after Washington’s negative reaction to Tehran’s latest response in the ongoing negotiations.

“The positions are not closer … If the process does not converge, then the whole process is in danger,” said Josep Borrel, the EU’s foreign policy chief.

Borrel has been brokering the negotiations between the US and Iran, and the EU recently put forward a “final” proposal to revive the JCPOA. Monday’s comments mark Borrel’s most negative comments since the EU made its proposal.

When the US received Iran’s latest response in the negotiations last Thursday night, an anonymous US official criticized the response as “not encouraging” and “moving backwards.”

Details of Iran’s response aren’t clear, but the two sides appear to be at odds over guarantees Iran seeks if the US withdraws from the deal again and over the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) inquiry into uranium traces at undeclared Iranian nuclear sites.

US officials said they conveyed to Iran not to link the IAEA investigation with a deal to revive the JCPOA. Iran reiterated its call for the IAEA to close the inquiry on Monday, but it’s still not clear if that is a condition for Iran to sign an agreement with the US.

Also on Monday, Iran rejected the US characterization of its latest response in the negotiations as being negative. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani described the Iranian response as “constructive, transparent and legal” and said it “can create the grounds for a conclusion of the talks.”

One factor that could have impacted the US’s criticism of Iran’s response is pressure from Israel, which is strongly opposed to reviving the JCPOA. As a deal between the US and Iran seemed possible, Israel has stepped up its efforts to influence the Biden administration, and Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid said Sunday that the pressure was “working.”

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.