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EU, US say they are studying Iran's response to nuclear proposal

VIENNA, AUSTRIA - APRIL 27: In this handout image provide by EU Delegation Vienna, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi (R) speaks with other participants at the JCPOA Iran nuclear talks on April 27, 2021 in Vienna, Austria. Representatives from the United States, Iran, the European Union and other participants from the original Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) are meeting both directly and indirectly over possibly reviving the plan. The JCPOA was the European-led initiative by which Iran agreed not to pursue a nuclear weapon in exchange for concessions, though the United States, under the administration of former U.S. President Donald Trump, abandoned the deal and intensified sanctions against Iran. (Photo by EU DELEGATION VIENNA via Getty Images)
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi (R) speaks with other participants at the JCPOA Iran nuclear talks on April 27, 2021 in Vienna, Austria [EU DELEGATION VIENNA via Getty Images]

The European Union and United States said, on Tuesday, they were studying Iran's response to what the EU has called its "final" proposal to save a 2015 nuclear deal after Tehran called on Washington to show flexibility, Reuters reports.

A US State Department spokesperson said the United States was sharing its views on Iran's response with the European Union after receiving Tehran's comments from the bloc.

"For the moment, we are studying it and we are consulting with the other JCPOA participants and the US on the way forward," an EU spokesperson told reporters in Brussels, referring to the nuclear deal by the official abbreviation, JCPOA.

She declined to give a time frame for any reaction from the EU.

After 16 months of fitful, indirect US-Iranian talks, with the EU shuttling between the parties, a senior EU official said on 8 August, the bloc had laid down a "final" offer and expected a response within a "very, very few weeks".

Iran responded to the proposal late on Monday, but none of the parties provided any details.

READ:  EU lays down 'final' text to resurrect Iran nuclear deal

Earlier on Monday, Iran's Foreign Minister called on the US to show flexibility to resolve three remaining issues, suggesting Tehran's response would not be a final acceptance or rejection.

Washington has said it is ready to quickly seal a deal to restore the 2015 Accord on the basis of the EU proposals.

Diplomats and officials have told Reuters that, whether or not Tehran and Washington accept the EU's "final" offer, neither is likely to declare the pact dead because keeping it alive serves both sides' interests.

The stakes are high, since failure in the nuclear negotiations 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.

In 2018, then-President Donald Trump reneged on the nuclear deal reached before he took office, calling it too soft on Iran, and re-imposed harsh US sanctions, spurring the Islamic Republic to begin breaching its limits on uranium enrichment.

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