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Iran nuclear deal within reach as EU team submits 'final text' in Vienna talks

A senior Iranian Foreign Ministry official speaks Monday in Vienna during the latest round of talks to restore the Iran nuclear deal. Photo courtesy of Iran Foreign Ministry/<a href="https://twitter.com/IRIMFA_EN/status/1556736188089761793/photo/1">Twitter</a>
A senior Iranian Foreign Ministry official speaks Monday in Vienna during the latest round of talks to restore the Iran nuclear deal. Photo courtesy of Iran Foreign Ministry/Twitter

Aug. 8 (UPI) -- Iran may soon return to the 2015 nuclear deal that aims to limit its nuclear abilities after European Union negotiators said Monday that a "final text" has been drafted, five days after talks restarted in Vienna to salvage the agreement.

Josep Borrell, the EU's high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, said in a statement on Monday that "what can be negotiated has been negotiated" regarding the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

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"Negotiators used these days of discussions and proximity talks between the U.S. and Iran to fine-tune and address -- with technical adjustments -- a handful of issues remaining in the text that I have put on the table last July 21, as coordinator of the JCPOA nuclear deal," Borrell tweeted.

Borrell indicated that the renegotiated deal still needs to be approved by Tehran and Washington before it can be signed.

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Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said in a statement Monday that the deal must guarantee the sustainable removal of sanctions placed on Iran.

"My assessment of this phase of talks is positive," Amirabdollahian said. "We, as coordinators, will continue our efforts to bring the views of the parties closer together to reach a deal that is good for all sides."

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Amirabdollahian expressed hope that the "road will be paved for an agreement" if the parties involved all adopt constructive approaches to reaching a deal.

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A senior U.S. official told Politico that "there is a real chance for an agreement but there are still a number of uncertainties as always."

"It is now up to capitals to consider this text. It is the best possible effort. We have negotiated ad nauseam every single aspect," the official said.

European officials have been brokering discussions on returning to the JCPAO for the past 16 months after former U.S. President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the deal in 2018.

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If the deal is renewed, Iran is expected to allow inspections by International Atomic Energy Agency, the nuclear watchdog of the United Nations.

Iran has demanded that the IAEA close an investigation into the origin of man-made nuclear particles found at three sites in the last several years but the agency has said it would close the investigation only if Iran provided a justifiable explanation for their origin.

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