Iran accused the U.S. of stalling its response to a proposed nuclear agreement after President Joe Biden discussed the extended negotiations with European leaders Sunday, according to multiple reports.
Biden spoke with French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, potential signatories to the deal, as negotiations have continued despite the European Union putting forth a “final text” of a nuclear agreement exchanging sanctions relief for constraints on Iran’s nuclear program. The EU’s chief negotiator, Josep Borrell, said the U.S. did not provide a final answer after Iran submitted its response on Aug. 15, outlining several outstanding issues, Reuters reported.
“The Americans are procrastinating and there is inaction from the European sides…America and Europe need an agreement more than Iran,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said Monday, Reuters reported.
“There was an Iranian response that I think was reasonable,” Borrell said Monday, according to Reuters, despite reports the existing deal contains significant concessions. He added that the EU expected a reply from the U.S. last week, but the decision could be announced this week.
Iran dropped its request for the U.S. to delist the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the paramilitary force, from the Foreign Terrorist Organizations list, CNN reported Friday.
However, Iran said it requires guarantees that economic relief will persist should a future U.S. presidential administration renege on the deal, a promise only Congress can provide. Former President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in 2018, inflicting heavy sanctions on Iran.
“Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed,” said Kanaani, according to Tehran Times. “Iran won’t wait for the other side, and we won’t condition the economy on the JCPOA revival talks.”
Biden, Macron, Scholz and Johnson also discussed “joint efforts to deter and constrain Iran’s destabilizing regional activities” as well as ways to support partners in the Middle East, who have taken various stances on the nuclear deal.
Both Iran and the EU have called the ongoing negotiations “constructive.”
“If the U.S. responds to Iran’s proposal negatively, we would continue our Plan B,” Kanaani said, according to Tehran Times. “Our Plan B is continuing our current foreign policy with serious determination regardless of JCPOA revival talks.”
Israel expressed alarm at the continuation of negotiations, warning U.S. and European leaders that Iran will not give up its nuclear weapons ambitions. Israel also has concerns about Iran’s financial support for terrorist proxy groups that threaten Israeli sovereignty and destabilize the Middle East, and has escalated covert action and airstrikes against Iran and Iran-backed targets.
שוחחתי היום עם נשיא צרפת @EmmanuelMacron. שוחחנו באריכות על סוגיית הגרעין האיראני. הבהרתי לו שישראל מתנגדת לחזרה להסכם ולא תהיה מחויבת להסכם כזה: ישראל תמשיך לעשות הכל על מנת למנוע מאיראן מלהגיע ליכולת גרעינית. pic.twitter.com/kww6zD8BZr
— יאיר לפיד – Yair Lapid (@yairlapid) August 22, 2022
Defense Minister Benny Gantz told local network KAN on Monday that Israel disagreed with the deal and will “work to bring it down,” Anadolu Agency reported. The deal is bad in terms of what it allows for “enrichment capacity, development of nuclear capabilities and weapons systems,” he added.
The White House, State Department and the Iranian Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s requests for comment.
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