WASHINGTON, Sept 2 (Reuters) – The White House on Friday rejected linking a revival of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal with the closure of investigations by the U.N. nuclear watchdog a day after Iran reopened the issue according to a Western diplomat.
Iran on Thursday sent its latest response to a European Union (EU) proposed text to revive the agreement under which it had restrained its nuclear program in exchange for relief from U.S., EU and U.N. economic sanctions.
Then-U.S. President Donald Trump abandoned the deal in 2018 and re-imposed U.S. sanctions, prompting Iran to start breaching the deal’s nuclear curbs and reviving U.S., Arab and Israeli fears it may be seeking an atomic bomb. Iran denies having nuclear ambitions.
“There should not be any conditionality between re-implementation of the JCPOA and investigations related to Iran‘s legal obligations under the Non-proliferation Treaty,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said, referring to the deal formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
Iranian Officials Seek Stronger U.S. Guarantees for Revival of 2015 Nuclear Deal
“So I don’t know what guarantees he’s talking about,” White House national security spokesman John
Kirby told reporters. #JCPOA #IranNuclearDeal #ViennaTalks #IranSanctions
— Kayhan Life (@KayhanLife) September 1, 2022
Jean-Pierre was alluding to investigations by the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) into uranium traces found at three undeclared Iranian sites.
Resolution of the so-called safeguards investigations is critical to the U.N. agency, which seeks to ensure parties to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty are not secretly diverting nuclear material which they could use to make a weapon.
#BREAKING: a bipartisan group of 50 Members of the U.S. Congress–34 Democrats and 16 Republicans–have written to @POTUS expressing concern about the #Iran JCPOA's revival. Would note 19 House Democrats opposed the JCPOA in 2015. https://t.co/22C3hYCM4S pic.twitter.com/kLLGoXG5fi
— Jason Brodsky (@JasonMBrodsky) September 1, 2022
A senior U.S. official on Aug. 23 said Iran had “basically dropped” some of the main obstacles to reviving the 2015 deal, including on the IAEA, but the issue seems to have been deferred. Read full story
A Western diplomat who spoke on condition of anonymity said on Friday Iran had reopened the issue in its latest response, which Tehran described as constructive, a characterization the United States disputed.
Iran‘s foreign minister this week said the IAEA should drop its “politically motivated probes” of Tehran’s nuclear work.
(Reporting by Aexandra Alper and Doina Chiacu in Washington; Additional reporting by John Irish in Paris, Parisa Hafezi in Dubai and Arshad Mohammed in Saint Paul, Minn.;Editing by Matthew Lewis)