U.S. privately responds to Iran on possible return to nuclear deal

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Aug. 25 (UPI) — The State Department said it has responded to the European Union’s proposed text that could help bring the United States and Iran back into the Obama-era deal that limits the Persian Gulf nation’s nuclear ambitions in exchange for sanction relief.

The United States has reviewed Iran’s comments on the EU’s proposal, State Department principal deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel said Wednesday.

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“We have conveyed our feedback privately, and I’m not going to get into further details from here today on that,” Patel said in Wednesday’s press briefing. “To take a little bit of a step back, we have taken a deliberate and principled approach to these negotiations from the start.

“If Iran is prepared to fully implement its commitments under the 2015 deal, then we’re prepared to do the same. This negotiation at times has languished for months upon months on account of Iran.”

Iran had accused the United States earlier this week of dragging its feet on a proposal to return to the agreement after negotiators participated in talks in Vienna. Iran had responded positively to the European Union’s “final text” on the agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

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Israel, a longtime critic of the JCPOA, called on the United States and the European Union to reject the deal on Wednesday.

“Israel is not against any agreement. We are against this agreement because it is a bad one,” Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid said. “Because it cannot be accepted as it is written right now. In our eyes, it does not meet the standards set by President Biden himself: preventing Iran from becoming a nuclear state.”