Iran seeks stronger U.S. guarantees for revival of 2015 nuclear deal

Iran wants stronger guarantees from Washington for the revival of a 2015 nuclear deal, its foreign minister said in Moscow on Wednesday, adding that the U.N. atomic watchdog should drop its “politically motivated probes” of Tehran’s nuclear work.

After 16 months of indirect talks between Tehran and Washington, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Aug. 8 the EU had laid down a final offer to overcome an impasse for the revival of the agreement.

Iran’s top diplomat, Hossein Amirabdollahian, said Tehran was carefully reviewing Washington’s response to the text, which was conveyed to Iran last week by the EU as coordinator of the nuclear talks.

“Iran is carefully reviewing the EU-drafted text … We need stronger guarantees from the other party to have a sustainable deal,” Amirabdollahian told a joint news conference with his Russian counterpart in Moscow.

Whilst Amirabdollahian did not elaborate further on “stronger guarantees,” but months of talks with Washington in Vienna, Tehran had demanded U.S. assurances that no future American president would abandon the deal as former U.S. President Donald Trump did in 2018.

This is problematic for President Joe Biden who cannot provide such tight knit assurances because the deal is a political understanding rather than a legally binding treaty.

White House national security spokesman John Kirby said he had not seen the Iranian foreign minister’s comments.

Biden told Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid in a phone call on Wednesday the United States will never allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon, the White House said in a statement. 

In its own readout of the call, Lapid’s office said they “spoke at length about the negotiations on a nuclear agreement, and their shared commitment to stopping Iran’s progress towards a nuclear weapon.”

Image Credit: Iranian President