'Final text' of revived Iran Deal submitted by the EU as Vienna talks end

The response of what would be the deal’s other signatories  is not yet known


The European Union has submitted the “final text” of a deal designed to revive the cancelled international agreement to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

The response of what would be the deal’s other signatories  – the US, UK, Russia, China and Iran itself – is not yet known.

The text was submitted after a weekend of intense talks conducted under the auspices of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna over the weekend. The original deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was agreed in 2015 but repudiated by US President Donald Trump three years later.

Critics of the intense diplomatic efforts made to revive the JCPOA this year have pointed out that since the original deal lapsed, Iran has crossed what would have been “red lines” under its terms, such as increasing its stockpiles of 60 per cent enriched uranium and building more high-energy centrifuges in order to achieve this.

They have also highlighted the failure by the US and other Western powers to insist that Iranian support for terrorist proxies throughout the Middle East must cease if there is to be a revived JCPOA.

These proxies include Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), which fired more than 1,000 rockets at Israel from the Gaza Strip during the intense three-day battle last weekend.

A renewed JCPOA would see Iran benefit from the lifting of tough economic sanctions, triggering fears in Israel that some of the income that would then flow into the country would be used to step up backing for Iran’s proxies.

Dr Dore Gold, Israel’s former UN envoy and now the Director of the Jerusalem Centre for Public Affairs, told the JC: “There is a clear connection between renewing the JCPOA and a likely upsurge in militant operations in the Middle East. If this really is a breakthrough, we can expect to see a big increase in funding for Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps” – the main channel for channelling aid to Iranian proxies.

“We worked for four days and today the text is on the table,” an EU official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told reporters on Monday. “The negotiation is finished, it’s the final text… and it will not be renegotiated.

“Now the ball is in the court of the capitals and we will see what happens. No one is staying in Vienna.”

On Sunday, according to Iranian media reports, Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian discussed the emerging deal in a phone call with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. He claimed Iran was “serious about clenching a strong and durable agreement” and that acquiring the Bomb was no part of Iran’s defence programme – as Iran has frequently done in the past, while simultaneously taking concrete steps to bring an Iranian nuclear weapons fleet closer to fruition.

He said the likelihood of a new deal being signed came down to the US, and whether it was ready to show “necessary resilience and realism in practice”.

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