Washington said it was ‘encouraged’ by recent concessions by Tehran amid rocky negotiations to revive the nuclear pact
The US State Department said it is “seriously reviewing” potential compromises put forward by Iran to return to the nuclear deal struck with world powers in 2015, after reports that the Islamic Republic agreed to drop a key demand to remove an elite military unit from the US terrorism list.
During a Monday press briefing, State Department spokesman Ned Price signaled that officials were still considering Iran’s latest offer, but added that while there were still problems to be resolved, a final agreement is inching closer.
“We are encouraged by the fact that Iran appears to have dropped some of its nonstarter demands, such as lifting the [Foreign Terror Organization] designation of the IRGC,” Price said, referring to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.
“But as you’ve heard from us over the past couple days, there are still some outstanding issues that must be resolved, some gaps that must be bridged. And that’s part of the reason why a deal is closer now than it was two weeks ago,” Price added, noting that the administration “will respond as soon as we have a response prepared.”
While the IRGC designation has long been a major obstacle in the fraught negotiations, a senior US official told CNN last week that Tehran had walked back the demand, a claim later corroborated by the Times of Israel. The elite military unit was placed on the terror blacklist by former President Donald Trump in 2019, marking the first time Washington labeled a part of another government as a terrorist organization.
Having helped to mediate the 16-month nuclear negotiations, the European Union’s top diplomat Josep Borrell weighed in on Iran’s latest offer on Monday, calling it “reasonable” while voicing hopes it would allow for a final agreement with the United States.
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