The final text of the Iran nuclear deal may require an international atomic watchdog to relinquish an investigation of Iran’s alleged atomic weapons program, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.
European Union negotiators offered a “final text” of an agreement providing sanctions relief to Iran in exchange for restrictions on its nuclear program Monday, as U.S. officials voiced dim expectations of Iran’s willingness to take the deal. The International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) probe into Iran’s possible atomic weapons program, launched after identifying undeclared nuclear material in 2019, had proven a sticking point in efforts to come to a final agreement, the WSJ reported.
The draft text, viewed by the WSJ, requires Iran to respond to the IAEA’s questions “with a view to clarifying them.” In return, countries that partake in the agreement — the U.S., Iran, Germany, France, the U.K., Russia and China — would persuade the IAEA to drop the probe.
The U.S. has kept the door open for a deal despite revelations that Iran’s paramilitary guard plotted to assassinate top U.S. officials in the Trump administration, including former National Security Adviser John Bolton and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. (RELATED: US Won’t Let Iran’s Attempt To Assassinate A US Official Derail Nuclear Talks: REPORT)
An EU spokesperson declined to comment to the Daily Caller News Foundation on media speculation, saying the deal is “now for the participating parties to consider, and not for discussions in the public.”
The State Department told the DCNF that the U.S. wants to see the IAEA investigation settled “regardless of where we express it — in the text of an understanding on a mutual return to full implementation of the JCPOA or elsewhere.”
Whether the nuclear agreement holds would hinge on how the IAEA evaluates Iran’s cooperation, according to the WSJ.
U.S. and European officials previously promised not to negotiate the IAEA investigation, arguing that it is unrelated to the issues at stake in the nuclear deal and within the jurisdiction of the IAEA, the WSJ reported.
The agreement on the table represents 16 months of negotiations beset by Iran’s refusal to negotiate directly with the U.S., its insistence that the U.S. drop Iran’s paramilitary force from the Foreign Terrorist Organizations and the IAEA investigation, the Jerusalem Post reported.
Negotiators used these days of discussions and proximity talks between the US and Iran to fine tune and address – with technical adjustments – a handful of issues remaining in the text that I have put on the table last July 21, as coordinator of the #JCPOA nuclear deal.
— Josep Borrell Fontelles (@JosepBorrellF) August 8, 2022
The EU has asked for a response by Aug. 15, according to the WSJ.
“We are carefully studying the EU’s proposed final text and will provide our answer to them as asked,” a State Department spokesperson told the WSJ.
An Iranian diplomat said Friday that Tehran might accept the agreement “if it provides assurances” on key demands; however, the EU official overseeing the negotiations said Monday he will allow no further alterations to the text.
As the U.S. has intensified sanctions on Iran under both the Trump and Biden administrations, Iran has enriched uranium far beyond the level necessary to produce atomic power. Iran claims the nuclear program exists for peaceful purposes.
The IAEA and Iranian Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.
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