Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Diplomats face three major issues in talks on reviving Iran nuclear deal

Iran and the United States are struggling to overcome divisions on three major issues in indirect talks on revival of a 2015 nuclear deal while months of negotiations have entered a crucial stage. A While Tehran and Washington are set on pursuing diplomacy, a senior EU official shuttling between the parties said on Aug. 8 that a “final” offer was proposed and a response was expected within weeks. (https://news.yahoo.com/factbox-three-major-issues-bedevilling-041258187.html) Iran insists the nuclear pact can only be salvaged if the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) drops its claims about Tehran’s nuclear work. Washington and other Western powers view Tehran’s demand as outside the scope of reviving the deal. Tehran seeks guarantees that “no U.S. administration” will renege on a revived pact. But President Joe Biden cannot promise this because the nuclear deal is a non-binding political understanding, not a legally-binding treaty. The broad outline of the revived deal was essentially agreed in March after 11 months of talks in Vienna. But then talks broke down, largely due to Tehran’s demand that Washington remove its elite Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) from the U.S. Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) list and Washington’s refusal to do so. In June, one Iranian and one European official said the demand had been taken off the table to give diplomacy a chance. Several sources told Reuters that Iran had agreed to discuss the matter once the 2015 pact is revived, but in return has asked for removal of sanctions on some economic units of the Guards.

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