Nuclear talks in Vienna
Nuclear talks in ViennaHandout, Reuters

A senior European official directly involved in nuclear talks with Iran told Axios’ Barak Ravid on Friday that Iran’s latest response to the EU’s proposal is unreasonable and indicates that the Iranians are not interested in closing a deal.

The official told Ravid that the Iranian response reopened the issue of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) investigations that the US and Britain, France and Germany) thought had been solved already.

"The Iranian response was totally unreasonable. It reopens the EU coordinator’s text on nuclear safeguards, which was at the outer limits of our flexibility already - and which the Iranians implicitly accepted in their August 15 response," the official said.

The European official stressed to Ravid, "The Iranian response can only be read as they do not want to close this deal - when we were so close, for the first time in 18 months."

Meanwhile, the White House made clear on Friday that there should be no conditionality between the re-implementation of the Iran nuclear deal and verifying whether Tehran has upheld its obligations under the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty.

"There should not be any conditionality between re-implementation of the JCPOA and investigations related to Iran's legal obligations under the Non-proliferation Treaty," White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters, according to Reuters.

Iran announced on Thursday it had submitted its comments to the US response to the European Union’s draft for reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

A spokesperson for Iran’s Foreign Ministry, Nasser Kanaani, said that Iran’s response was prepared based on a constructive approach.

On Friday, the European Commission confirmed that Iran’s response had been received and distributed it to all other participants in the negotiations.

Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States, were all studying Iran’s response and would together discuss the way ahead, the Commission said.

A senior Biden administration official told Politico after Iran submitted its response 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 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.

(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)