Iranian adviser suggests nuclear deal ‘closer than ever’ as Tehran responds to EU offer

IRNA reported that Iran returned the draft Vienna Agreement to the EU on Tuesday, but the agency did not release Iran’s response.

On Twitter, Iran’s negotiating team adviser Mohammad Marandi said that Iran has “expressed its concerns” about the project, but “the remaining issues are not very difficult to resolve.”

“These concerns are based on past US/EU violations. I can’t say that there will be an agreement, but we are closer than we were before,” Marandi wrote.

The United States withdrew from the agreement in 2018 under then President Donald Trump. Since the US withdrawal, Iran has increasingly violated the deal’s agreements and expanded its nuclear program.

Iran said any final deal must protect the country’s rights and guarantee the lifting of sanctions, which could free tens of billions of dollars in oil and gas revenues and stimulate Iran’s struggling economy.

Referring to the position of the Iranian negotiating team, IRNA reported on Tuesday that differences remain on three issues.

In two of those episodes, the US “expressed verbal flexibility,” IRNA reported.

The third question concerns the parties “guaranteeing the continuation” of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), IRNA reported. And it “depends on the realism of the United States to get Iran’s voice,” IRNA reported, citing the negotiating team.

The issues were discussed in detail on Monday at an extraordinary meeting of the National Security Council, IRNA reported.

The European Union has not officially acknowledged having received Iran’s response.

Earlier Monday, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said that if the US were realistic and flexible in its response to Iran’s proposal, it would “be on the brink of an agreement.”

Amir-Abdollahian said that Tehran is ready to come to a conclusion at the meeting of foreign ministers and announce a final agreement if his views are accepted. “The days ahead are important days,” he said.

A State Department spokesman told CNN last week that the US was “ready to make a quick deal based on the EU’s proposals.”

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