An advisor to the Iranian negotiating team in Vienna, Mohammad Marandi, told CNN on 16 August that Tehran wants Washington to “pay a price” if the US again leaves the nuclear agreement.
“The main issue facing the revival of the deal is the guarantees requested from the Iranian side ensuring Iran will be compensated in case future US administrations decide to withdraw again from the deal and while no real solution has been put forth,” Marandi said during a televised interview.
His comments come just hours after US and EU officials said they were studying the Iranian response to what the EU described as the “final” text proposed in order to restore the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
“It seems there has been progress in bringing views closer, especially in the issue of indirect sanctions on Iranian companies working abroad,” Marandi added.
On 16 August, Tehran delivered its final conclusion to the European proposal, and urged Washington to be “flexible” in order to resolve the remaining issues.
“For the moment, we are studying it and we are consulting with the other JCPOA participants and the US on the way forward,” a EU spokesperson told reporters.
The US, for its part, claims that many of the “big issues” have been settled, including sanctions relief the US provided to Iran under the JCPOA and the curbs Iran is to accept on its nuclear energy program.
“What could be negotiated has been negotiated,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said on Tuesday.
Price added that the US has the Iranian response to EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell’s draft text.
“We agree with Mr. Borrell’s fundamental points,” said Price. “We’ll continue to study what has been submitted. We’ll continue to consult closely with EU with our European allies, other partners, and when we have more to say we’ll share that.”
For 16 months, Iran and the US have been indirectly mediating via negotiations with the remaining signatories of the JCPOA – China, Russia, France, the UK, and Germany.
The JCPOA was broken when former US president Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the deal in 2018. He then launched a so-called “maximum pressure” sanctions campaign against the Islamic Republic.