The European Union’s foreign policy chief said on Monday he hoped the United States would respond positively as early as this week to an EU proposal that aims to save a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.
Josep Borrell also said that Iran had given a “reasonable” response to the proposal, which follows 16 months of fitful, indirect U.S.-Iranian talks with the EU shuttling between the parties. The contents of the proposal have not been made public.
“There was a proposal from me as coordinator of the negotiations saying ‘this is the equilibrium we reached, I don’t think we can improve it on one side or the other’… and there was a response from Iran that I considered reasonable,” Borrell told a university event in the Spanish city of Santander.
“It was transmitted to the United States which has not yet responded formally… I hope the response will put an end to the negotiations,” he added.
An EU official has previously said the proposal is the bloc’s “final offer” to revive a pact suspended in 2018 by the administration of then-U.S. President Donald Trump.
The stakes are high, since failure in the nuclear talks would carry the risk of a fresh regional war, with Israel threatening military action against Iran if diplomacy fails to prevent Tehran from developing a nuclear weapons capability.
Iran, which has long denied having such ambitions, has warned of a “crushing” response to any Israeli attack.
Earlier on Monday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanaani accused the United States of “procrastinating” in the negotiations.
“The world would be a much safer place if we can make this agreement work,” Borrell said.
Image Credit: European Parliament