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Iran asked for ‘adjustments’ to proposed nuclear deal, EU’s Borrell says

Foreign policy chief says ‘most’ countries involved in talks with Tehran have signed on to proposal, but US has yet to respond

Josep Borrell, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy speaks during a meeting with Iran's Foreign Minister at the Foreign Ministry headquarters in Iran's capital Tehran on June 25, 2022. (Atta Kenare/AFP)
Josep Borrell, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy speaks during a meeting with Iran's Foreign Minister at the Foreign Ministry headquarters in Iran's capital Tehran on June 25, 2022. (Atta Kenare/AFP)

MADRID, Spain — Iran requested “some adjustments” to a draft agreement on reviving a 2015 nuclear accord with major powers proposed by the European Union, the bloc’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said Tuesday.

During an interview with Spanish public television TVE, Borrell said “most” countries involved in nuclear talks with Iran agreed with the proposal, but that the United States had not yet responded.

The 2015 agreement between Iran and six world powers — Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States — gave the Islamic Republic sanctions relief in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program.

The deal was designed to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon — something it has always denied wanting to do.

But in 2018, then-US president Donald Trump, a strong critic of the deal, unilaterally pulled out and slapped heavier sanctions on Iran.

Earlier this month, after more than a year of talks coordinated by Borrell and his team, the EU submitted what it called a “final” proposed text — which has not been made public — to revive the accord.

“Iran responded by saying ‘yes but,’ that is to say they want some adjustments,” Borrell told TVE, without providing further details.

During a press conference Monday in Santander in northern Spain, he said Iran’s response had seemed “reasonable” to him and it was therefore submitted to the six world powers involved in the nuclear talks.

“We are waiting for their response, most of them agree, but there is still no answer from the United States… we expect to receive a reply during this week,” he added.

Iran has accused the United States of stalling a potential agreement, a charge rejected by Washington.

US State Department spokesman Ned Price said Monday that outstanding questions remained about Iran’s requested changes to the EU proposal.

“This is why it has taken us some additional time to review those comments and to determine our response of our own,” he said.

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