Nuclear talks in Vienna
Nuclear talks in ViennaReuters

Iran on Thursday night submitted its comments to the US response to the European Union’s draft for reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, the spokesperson of the Iranian Foreign Ministry said.

The spokesperson, Nasser Kanaani, said that Iran’s response was prepared based on a constructive approach.

A senior Biden administration official told Politico later on Thursday, “We are studying Iran’s response, but the bottom line is that it is not at all encouraging.”

The official declined to give specifics about what the Iranians had proposed, but added, “based on their answer, we appear to be moving backwards.”

The EU proposal, submitted on July 26 by its foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, has been described by the EU as a “final draft” of the agreement.

Iran’s response comes nine days after it confirmed it had received a response from the United States to its proposals on the EU draft and said it is “carefully reviewing the US opinions”.

On Sunday, White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said that an agreement on a return to the Iran nuclear deal is closer, but there are still some issues to be ironed out.

"We are certainly closer today than we were about two weeks ago thanks to Iran being willing to concede on a couple of major issues," Kirby told CNN in an interview, before adding, "There are still gaps that remain between all sides."

Iran has scaled back its compliance with the 2015 deal ever since former US President Donald Trump withdrew from it in 2018.

On Wednesday, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said that Iran has begun enriching uranium with the second of three cascades, or clusters, of advanced IR-6 centrifuges recently installed at its underground plant at Natanz.

Wednesday’s report followed a report released by the IAEA on Monday which indicated that the first cascade had been brought onstream.