UPDATED 2:22 PM PT – Wednesday, August 17, 2022
Negotiators outside the Biden administration seemed to be making headway in reviving the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. On Tuesday, diplomats from the European Union confirmed that Iran sent in a written draft which may lead to a final deal.
In that draft, the Ayatollah reportedly demanded that if an agreement is inked than Iran should be compensated if the US backs out again. Iranian negotiators further threatened that the US backing out could spark a resurgence of Iran’s nuclear weapons ambitions.
State Department spokesman Ned Price commended the deal. He said that the State Department has been working with European diplomats to review Iran’s response as bilateral talks between the Biden administration and the Iranian regime fizzled. He also stressed that the two countries needed mediators to rekindle negotiations. However, Price said the administration is not holding its breath.
“We don’t approach this through the lens or with a pessimistic view or with an optimistic view, in part because the stakes of this, we have to be clear eyed precisely because of the stakes of this,” Price stated. “This is a central challenge. There would be no greater challenge to our foreign policy, to our national security, to the collective security of the international community should Iran acquire a nuclear weapon.”
While at a press briefing, Price was also asked about the nuclear deal. In the recent months, the Biden administration has called attention to Iran’s increasing harm posed on Americans in the country. The administration even awarded it a ‘D’ designation as a country that locks up American citizens.
Price stressed that Americans held hostage in the country are not political pawns used to reach a deal. The spokesperson said this is because the Iran deal could fail to blossom and that the Biden administration wants separate negotiations that will actually bring back the imprisoned Americans.
“(We) continue to convey very clearly the priority we attach to the safety, the security and ultimately the safe return of the Americans who are wrongfully, unjustly detained in Iran,” Price said. In fact, today we’re marking another somber milestone. We’re marking the 250th, 2,500th. Thank you. Day in detention for Siamak Namazi, someone who, of course, has been wrongfully detained for years. The same is true for his father, for other Americans. Those efforts are ongoing. We’ve been clear throughout that we’re not tying the fates of American citizens to the fates of a proposition, namely a mutual return to compliance with the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action). That is far from certain.”
In the meantime, the EU negotiators said they are reviewing the draft with other members of the JCPOA. All parties maintained that they want a realistic deal that benefits all sides.
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