Iran submits ‘written response’ to nuclear talks, accuses Washington of delay

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iran said on Tuesday it had submitted a “written response” to what was described as a final roadmap to restore its tattered nuclear deal with world powers.

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Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency offered no details on the substance of its response, but suggested that Tehran still would not accept the European Union’s proposal, despite warnings that there would be no more of negotiations.

“The differences relate to three issues, on which the United States expressed verbal flexibility in two instances, but should be included in the text,” the IRNA report said. “The third problem is related to ensuring the continuation of (the agreement), which depends on the realism of the United States.”

Tehran, under the hardline leadership of President Ebrahim Raisi, has repeatedly tried to blame Washington for the delay in reaching a deal. Monday would have been the deadline for Iran’s response.

Nabila Massrali, the EU’s spokesperson for foreign affairs and security policy, told The Associated Press that the EU received Iran’s response on Monday evening.

“We are studying it and consulting with other JCPOA participants and the United States on the way forward,” she said, using an acronym for the official name of the nuclear deal, the Action Plan. overall joint.

The EU has been the broker in the indirect talks, with Iran having refused to negotiate directly with America since President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the United States from the deal in 2018.

From Washington, the State Department said it had also received Iran’s comments through the EU and was “investigating” them.

“We share our views with the EU,” he added.

READ MORE: Iran nuke talks resume in Vienna as Tehran expands uranium enrichment

On Monday, State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters that the United States agreed with the EU’s “fundamental point” that after 16 months of talks, “what could to be negotiated has been negotiated”.

He added that Iran had made ‘unacceptable demands’ that went beyond the text of the 2015 nuclear deal, which saw Iran drastically limit its uranium enrichment in exchange for the lifting of sanctions. economic.

“If Iran wants these sanctions lifted, it will have to change its underlying conduct,” Price said. “They will have to change the dangerous activities that gave rise to these penalties in the first place.”

According to the latest public count, Iran has a stockpile of about 3,800 kilograms (8,370 pounds) of enriched uranium. Under the deal, Tehran could enrich uranium to 3.67 percent purity, while maintaining a 300-kilogram (660-pound) stockpile of uranium under constant surveillance by surveillance cameras and international inspectors.

Iran is now enriching uranium up to 60% purity – a level it has never reached before and which is a technical step away from 90%. Non-proliferation experts warn that Iran now has enough 60% enriched uranium to turn it into fuel for at least one nuclear bomb. Meanwhile, surveillance cameras were turned off and more footage was seized by Iran.

However, Iran would still need to design a bomb and delivery system for it, probably a months-long project. Tehran insists its program is peaceful, although the West and the International Atomic Energy Agency say Iran had an organized military nuclear program until 2003.

Associated Press writer Matt Lee in Washington contributed to this report.

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