The US has responded to Iran’s comments on the nuclear deal proposal put forth by the European Union, State Department officials said Wednesday.
“As you know, we received Iran’s comments on the EU’s proposed final text through the EU. Our review of those comments has now concluded. We have responded to the EU today,” State Department Spokesman Ned Price said in an e-mailed statement.
The US said that it has responded after Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman revealed Tehran received Washington’s response earlier in the day.
“Iran will share its view with the EU, as the coordinator of the nuclear talks, upon completion of Tehran’s review,” Nasser Kanaani said.
Asked about the nature of the US response, a senior White House official gave away few details.
“The President is committed to achieving a diplomatic outcome here to prevent Iran from achieving nuclear weapons capability. We want to do our homework; we want to do it right. And that’s what we’re focused on,” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said.
Speaking to reporters on a phone call, Kirby reiterated that “gaps remain” between the US and Iran on their demands for a mutual return to the 2015 deal.
The White House official pushed a narrative used by the Biden administration in recent days that it was, in fact, Tehran that had made concessions.
Iranian officials leaked concessions last week reportedly made by the Biden administration as both sides say they’re inching closer to a deal.
But Kirby said the parties were “closer now than we were even just a couple of weeks ago because Iran made the decision to make some concessions.”
“So that’s a positive step forward,” he added.
The 2015 agreement between Iran and six world powers -- Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States -- gave the Islamic republic sanctions relief in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program.
The deal formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, was designed to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon -- something it has always denied wanting to do.
Iran’s announcement comes as its arch-nemesis Israel has piled on pressure on Western countries to halt talks on reviving the agreement, warning against the consequences of returning to the accord.
“On the table right now is a bad deal. It would give Iran $100 billion a year,” Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid told journalists Wednesday.
The money would be used by Iran-backed militant groups Hamas, Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad to “undermine stability in the Middle East and spread terror around the globe,” he added.