Top US diplomat rules out agreeing with Iran on deal that fails to meet basic demands

Iran’s latest response to draft proposal ‘takes us backward,’ says US secretary of state.

Top US diplomat rules out agreeing with Iran on deal that fails to meet basic demands

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said on Friday that his country would not agree with Iran on a deal that fails to meet basic demands. 

Iran’s “latest response takes us backward,” Blinken told reporters at a joint news conference with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg following their meeting.

Blinken referred to Iran's official reply to the draft compromise, proposed by EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, on reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

“We are not about to agree to a deal that doesn't meet our bottom-line requirements,” he stated.

Blinken also ruled out approving the “extraneous demands that are not relevant to the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) itself” since the US is only willing to conclude a deal that “advances national security.”

The Iran nuclear deal – officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – was signed in 2015 by Iran, the US, China, Russia, France, the UK, Germany, and the EU.

Under the agreement, Tehran has committed to limit its nuclear activity to civilian purposes and in return, world powers agreed to drop their economic sanctions against Iran.

Under former President Donald Trump, the US unilaterally withdrew from the agreement in 2018 and re-imposed sanctions on Iran, prompting Tehran to stop complying with the nuclear deal.

The EU diplomacy, as coordinator of the deal, has made significant efforts to get Iran and the US back to the negotiation table since the beginning of the conflict.

In August, Borrell presented a proposal on lifting US sanctions and ensuring Iran’s compliance with nuclear requirements.