The JCPOA began to rupture 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 to force Tehran to renegotiate with more favorable terms for Washington.
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On 23 August, the EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell remarked that the majority of nations involved in the nuclear talks with Iran have agreed with the EU proposal focused on reviving the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
“Most of them agree, but I still don’t have the answer from the United States, which I expect during this week,” Borrell said during an interview with Spain’s national broadcaster TVE.
He went on to add that Tehran asked to make a few adjustments to the EU’s newly proposed draft. This follows 16 months of mediated, indirect US-Iran negotiations with the JCPOA’s remaining signatories – China, Russia, France, the UK, and Germany.
On 15 August, Iran submitted its response to the EU’s proposal, a week after the latest round of nuclear talks concluded, calling on the US to show “realism and flexibility,” to reach a final agreement.
The EU later confirmed that it had received Iran’s response, saying the bloc is “studying” the reply with parties to the deal and the US.
Washington, 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 16 August.
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 the EU with our European allies, and other partners, and when we have more to say we’ll share that.”