Iran nuclear deal ‘imminent’ with crippling sanctions removed

Monday, August 22nd, 2022 10:30 | By
The reactor building at the Russian-built nuclear power plant in Bushehr in southern Iran
The reactor building at the Russian-built nuclear power plant in Bushehr in southern Iran. PHOTO/IIPA

A European proposal to revive the nuclear agreement between Western countries and Iran is imminent and includes the release of billions of dollars in frozen Iranian funds and oil exports in return for the scaling back of its nuclear programme.

The new deal will be carried out in four phases over two 60-day periods, sources with knowledge of the proposed agreement told Al Jazeera Arabic.

Iran recently voiced optimism about an agreement on a renewed version of the 2015 nuclear deal with the US and other foreign powers, formally called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Iran’s negotiating team adviser Mohammad Marandi said earlier this week; “we’re closer than we’ve been before” to securing a deal and the “remaining issues are not very difficult to resolve”.

The EU’s “final text” proposal for the accord, submitted last week, was approved by the US, which says it is ready to quickly seal the agreement if Iran accepts it.

The proposal stipulates on the day after the agreement is signed, sanctions on 17 Iranian banks and 150 economic institutions will be lifted.

It also says Tehran will immediately begin to reverse the steps it took to advance its nuclear technology, which is now beyond the scope of what the UN nuclear watchdog says is acceptable.

Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium is now at 60 percent enrichment, its highest ever and a jump from the 3.67 per cent limit set out by the 2015 deal. Enrichment at 90 percent is needed to build a nuclear bomb.

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