UNITED NATIONS (Dispatches) -- Tehran has roundly rejected
reports that Iran and the United States were are concluding an interim agreement under which Iran would curb its nuclear program in return for sanctions relief.
The outright rebuttal by Iran’s UN mission on Thursday came after London-based Middle East Eye (MEE) news and analysis website claimed that the countries were close to clinching such a deal to revive the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
The JCPOA was reached in 2015 between Iran and world countries, including the United States. It enabled limited sanction relief for the Islamic Republic, which, in turn, volunteered to change some aspects of its nuclear work.
The U.S., however, left the agreement in 2018 under former president Donald Trump, returning all the sanctions that the deal had lifted.
Negotiations to revive the agreement started in April 2021. The talks have, however, stalled amid Washington’s refusal to offer guarantees that it would not ditch the deal again.
“There is no interim deal to replace the JCPOA,” said the Iranian mission to the United Nations, adding that no such agreement is on the agenda.
Also on Thursday, a White House National Security Council spokesman rejected the MEE report, calling it false and misleading.
The reported had cited two unnamed sources as saying “the two sides have reached an agreement on a temporary deal to take to their respective superiors.”
It claimed that Iran would commit to cease enriching uranium to purity of 60% or above and would continue cooperation with the UN nuclear agency in return for being allowed to export up to 1 million barrels of oil per day and gaining access “to its income and other frozen funds abroad.”
Trump’s successor Joe Biden has alleged an interest in returning the U.S. to the JCPOA. Biden’s administration has, however, not only stopped short of taking any measures that could lift the talks out of its current impasse but has also imposed many rounds of its own sanctions
against the Islamic Republic.
Mohsen Naziri Asl, Iran’s permanent representative at the United Nations office in Vienna, touched upon the United States’ self-proclaimed desire to return to the JCPOA on Wednesday.
“Despite the arduous negotiations that lasted for more than 18 months, mainly due to the lack of American political will and determination, we could not bring the talks to a conclusion,” he said.