DUBAI: Iran accused the United States on Monday of procrastinating in indirect talks aimed at reinstating Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal, and said a prisoner swap with Washington was not linked to the negotiations.

After 16 months of fitful, indirect US-Iran talks, with European Union officials shuttling between the sides, a senior EU official said on Aug 8 it had laid down a final offer and expected a response within a “very, very few weeks”.

Iran last week responded to the EU’s text with “additional views and considerations”, while calling on Washington to show flexibility to resolve three remaining issues.

The EU’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, said on Monday he hoped the United States would respond positively as early as this week to the bloc’s proposal.

Tehran had given a “reasonable” response to it, he said.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Nasser Kanaani, said Tehran wanted a sustainable deal that would preserve Tehran’s legitimate rights.

“The Americans are procrastinating and there is inaction from the European sides...America and Europe need an agreement more than Iran,” Kanaani told a news conference.

“Until we agree on all issues, we cannot say that we have reached a complete agreement.”

The United States has repeatedly called on Tehran to release several Iranian-Americans held in Iran on security charges.

Published in Dawn, August 23rd, 2022

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