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Iran Submits Nuke Talk Written Response08/16 06:06


   DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) -- Iran said Tuesday it submitted a 
"written response" to what has been described as a final roadmap to restore its 
tattered nuclear deal with world powers.

   Iran's state-run IRNA news agency offered no details on the substance of its 
response, but suggested that Tehran still wouldn't take the European 
Union-mediated proposal, despite warnings there would be no more negotiations.

   "The differences are on three issues, in which the United States has 
expressed its verbal flexibility in two cases, but it should be included in the 
text," the IRNA report said. "The third issue is related to guaranteeing the 
continuation of (the deal), which depends on the realism of the United States."

   Tehran under hard-line President Ebrahim Raisi has repeatedly tried to blame 
Washington for the delay in reaching an accord. Monday was reported to have 
been a deadline for Iran's response.

   Nabila Massrali, a spokesperson for the EU on foreign affairs and security 
policy, told The Associated Press that the EU received Iran's response on 
Monday night.

   "We are studying it and are consulting with the other JCPOA participants and 
the U.S. on the way ahead," she said, using an acronym for the formal name for 
the nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

   The EU has been the go-between in the indirect talks as Iran refused to 
negotiate directly with America since then-President Donald Trump unilaterally 
withdrew the U.S. from the accord in 2018.

   From Washington, State Department spokesman Ned Price said the U.S. would 
share its own response to the EU.

   "We do agree, however, with (the EU's) fundamental point, and that is that 
what could be negotiated has been negotiated," Price said.

   He added that Iran had been making "unacceptable demands" going beyond the 
text of the 2015 nuclear deal, which saw Iran drastically limit its enrichment 
of uranium in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.

   "If Iran wants these sanctions lifted, they will need to alter their 
underlying conduct," Price said. "They will need to change the dangerous 
activities that gave rise to these sanctions in the first place."

   As of the last public count, Iran has a stockpile of some 3,800 kilograms 
(8,370 pounds) of enriched uranium. Under the deal, Tehran could enrich uranium 
to 3.67% purity, while maintaining a stockpile of uranium of 300 kilograms (660 
pounds) under constant scrutiny of surveillance cameras and international 

   Iran now enriches uranium up to 60% purity -- a level it never reached 
before and one that is a short, technical step away from 90%. Nonproliferation 
experts warn Iran now has enough 60%-enriched uranium to reprocess into fuel 
for at least one nuclear bomb. Meanwhile, the surveillance cameras have been 
turned off and other footage has been seized by Iran.

   However, Iran still would need to design a bomb and a delivery system for 
it, likely a monthslong project. Tehran insists its program is peaceful, though 
the West and the International Atomic Energy Agency say Iran had an organized 
military nuclear program until 2003.

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