EU foreign policy chief says Iran deal now on table is best possible

The EU’s foreign policy chief said on Tuesday he had submitted a draft text of an agreement on Iran’s nuclear program, urging the parties to accept it or “risk a dangerous nuclear crisis”.

Josep Borrell said the current text of the Iran nuclear deal is the best possible outcome and should be implemented as soon as possible.

In an op-ed in the Financial Times, Borrell said that after more than a year of negotiations, the parties had reached “the best possible agreement that I, as facilitator of the negotiations, consider feasible.”

The diplomat wrote that “the space for additional meaningful compromises has been exhausted.”

Josep Borrell was heavily involved in nuclear talks between Iran and the West. He traveled to Tehran in June to relaunch negotiations stalled since March.

The 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) gave Iran sanctions relief in exchange for limits on its nuclear program to prevent it from obtaining nuclear weapons, a goal Iran denies pursuing. The pact gradually crumbled after the Trump administration withdrew the United States in 2018 and slapped Iran with harsh sanctions – a move Israel enthusiastically backed.

In response, Iran dropped its own commitments to the deal, bolstering the program and increasing uranium enrichment beyond the levels set in the deal. Borrell therefore argued that Trump’s “maximum pressure” strategy had not succeeded.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian (right) attends a press conference with Josep Borrell, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy at the Foreign Ministry headquarters in Tehran , the Iranian capital, on June 25, 2022. (Atta Kenare/ AFP)

Borrell wrote that the deal currently on the table “is not a perfect deal, but it addresses all the essentials and includes hard-won compromises by all parties.”

Borrell urged the parties to the talks to “seize this unique opportunity to succeed and unlock the great potential of a fully implemented agreement, I see no other comprehensive or effective alternative within reach.”

The top EU diplomat expressed fear that a “dangerous nuclear crisis” could occur if the deal is rejected, and that those involved in the negotiations have a “joint responsibility” to sign a deal.

Talks in Vienna earlier this year aimed to bring the United States back into the JCPOA and Iran on its terms, but talks have been stalled for months amid a standoff between Washington and Iran over divisions apart from the nuclear issue.

One of the main sticking points is Iran’s demand that the United States remove the Islamic Revolutionary Guards from its list of foreign terrorist organizations, which US President Joe Biden has so far refused to do. TO DO.

Earlier on Tuesday, Defense Minister Benny Gantz warned that reviving a 2015 pact with world powers to curb Iranian nuclear activities would only be a delaying tactic, and claimed that Israel could ” seriously harm and delay nuclear energy”. [program].”

Gantz’s remarks came after Iranian media earlier this week reported the alleged capture of an Israeli-backed spy ring who were about to carry out a bomb attack on a ‘sensitive site’ in Isfahan. . Some Israeli media have noted that the province is home to the Natanz nuclear power plant, which has been the target of attacks attributed by Tehran to Israel.

Israel has repeatedly stated that it reserves the right to act independently against Iran’s nuclear facilities to prevent an existential threat to the Jewish state.

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