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Iran’s president denies making concessions in nuclear talks

As the world waits to hear the results of the nuclear talks, Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi has denied that his country made any major concessions.
ATTA KENARE/AFP via Getty Images

Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi has denied that his country has made major concessions in talks to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

During a speech on Sunday, Raisi said that Iran has been able to get “a considerable amount of its demands” from other countries since his administration came to office. “In no meeting or negotiation did we sell the rights of the people short,” he said, adding that his administration did not “tie the lives of the people to foreign factors.” 

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanani said that in its latest proposal Iran had shown “flexibility” and also responded to the European proposal in a “timely manner.” He added that what is important now is the “American delay” in responding to Iran’s offer. He did not go into any details. 

In the most recent negotiations, the European Union gave what was billed as a “final offer” to get Iran back into full compliance with the terms of the JCPOA and get the United States back into the deal. When Iran sent a response, it sparked various leaks and rumors online. According to CNN, Iran has dropped its insistence that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps be removed from the US list of foreign terrorist organizations as part of the JCPOA revival. 

Former President Donald Trump had put the IRGC on the list and Iran had maintained that all Trump-era sanctions must be lifted to return to the deal. The IRGC sanctions, according to most observers, were one of the main sticking points in reviving the deal. The conservative Jahan news outlet reported that the issue of IRGC sanctions would be delayed until later negotiations, suggesting it will be unlinked from the JCPOA. 

Now Iran must wait for the US response. President Joe Biden spoke Sunday with his French, UK and German counterparts about reviving the JCPOA, among other issues. 

An article in Nour News, which is linked to the Supreme National Security Council, claimed that no major concessions were presented in Iran’s counter offer. According to the article, the reports about concessions came from media outlets linked to Israel, the US right and Iranian opposition groups, which are reacting to the “relative progress” of the nuclear talks. The article did not get into the details but stated that regardless of the increase in media coverage, unlike the previous Iranian administrations, this current administration will not tie the country’s economic fate to the nuclear talks.

The Iranian press has been speculating about the contents of Iran’s response. Given that conservative outlets have been positive in their coverage, it seems possible that either a deal is coming or that there has been significant progress.

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