Biden Is Close To Reaching A Deal With Iran, U.S. Officials Say

( President Joe Biden’s administration has indicated progress in the 16-month attempt to re-establish the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, as all parties involved await the US response to Iran’s comments on the final text published earlier this month by the European Union.

Last week, the EU received Iran’s remarks. Josep Borrell, the EU’s high foreign affairs and security representative and the organization’s top diplomat, called them “reasonable” and said he was waiting for the United States’ answer.  Borrell hoped the negotiations could be concluded, but he could not guarantee it.

According to reports, State Department spokesperson Ned Price told reporters that the administration was still evaluating Iran’s comments while talking with the EU and European allies. He also indicated that Tehran appeared to have backed down from specific requests, such as removing the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) from the Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO) list. Price stated that the conclusion of these current negotiations remains unknown as gaps persist.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was signed in 2015 by China, France, Germany, Iran, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The agreement, reached while Biden was vice president to then-President Barack Obama, removed international sanctions against Iran in exchange for the Islamic Republic agreeing to significantly reduce its nuclear activities.

Reports show former President Donald Trump, Obama’s successor, abandoned the accord in 2018, imposing economic sanctions against Iran that harmed its international trade ties. Tehran continued nuclear manufacturing, despite Iranian officials’ claims that they do not intend to construct a nuclear bomb.

Borrell put forth the final text of Iran’s reply to the EU’s request for changes to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) two weeks ago. His decision came amid an apparent impasse in the ninth round of talks between the U.S., Iran, and other parties to the JCPOA.

Media reports reveal that Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said that the Americans are stalling and the Europeans are inactive on the next steps for the JCPOA, an agreement he said the US and the EU required more than Iran.

Joe Biden’s presidency is Obama’s third term.