September 25, 2022

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We are closer to restoring nuclear deal, says Iran’s former diplomat

TEHRAN – A former diplomat has said it seems that Iran and the U.S. have got closer to clinching a deal to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

“Based on the evidence, it seems that we have got closer to achieving the deal,” Hamid Reza Asefi, the former Foreign Ministry spokesman who also served as Iran’s ambassador to France and the UAE, told the ISNA news agency on Tuesday.

“However,” Asefi added, “some minor issues still remain unresolved that the sides should agree on them.”

On Monday midnight, Iran submitted its response to the draft proposal presented by the European Union for reviving the JCPOA.

The EU has confirmed it has received Iran’s response to the draft text proposed by Josep Borrell, the EU foreign policy chief, and presented it to the American side.

“We will submit our final conclusion in black and white to the EU coordinator by 00:00 this night (Monday night). If the U.S. response is realistic and flexible, a deal will be made. If the U.S. doesn’t show flexibility, then we should talk further,” Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian announced on Monday. 

Asefi said on such issues involved parties should reach a consensus on each issue so that it can be said that an agreement has been “reached and finalized”.

The former diplomat said according to reports released the EU’s reaction to Iran’s response “has so far been positive” and the Americans have also said they should study Iran’s plan.

“It seems that that based on the kind of positions taken by the European officials, their reactions to Iran’s foreign minister’s response to (the EU) proposal have not been negative,” he added. 

The former Foreign Ministry spokesman said the Americans seem to have shown some kind of flexibility that the negotiations “have reached this point”.

“Therefore, it has not been the case that only we have shown flexibility, they have also shown flexibility,” he pointed out.

On whether he is optimistic about the restoration of the nuclear agreement, he said, “As a person who had worked on foreign policy areas for (long) years, I am neither optimistic nor pessimistic about issues. We should have a realistic approach toward issues.”

Asefi, who was Foreign Ministry spokesperson for more than eight years, said what is important is that in such a delicate situation the U.S. side would not repeat wrong behaviors that it has been showing over the years.


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