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Iran Nuclear Deal Draft Puts Prisoners, Enrichment, Cash First, Oil Comes Later – Diplomats

Measures to be implemented in phases, diplomats say
Iran's and U.S.' flags are seen printed on paper in this illustration taken January 27, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration
Iran’s and U.S.’ flags are seen printed on paper in this illustration taken January 27, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

A U.S.-Iranian deal taking shape to revive Iran’s 2015 nuclear agreement with world powers lays out phases of mutual steps to bring both sides back into full compliance, and the first does not include waivers on oil sanctions, diplomats say.

Envoys from Iran, Russia, China, Britain, France, Germany, the European Union and United States are still negotiating details of the draft accord amid Western warnings that time is running out before the original deal becomes obsolete. Delegates say much of the text is settled but some thorny issues remain.

The broad objective is to return to the original bargain of lifting sanctions against Iran, including ones that have slashed its crucial oil sales, in exchange for restrictions on its nuclear activities that extend the time it would need to produce enough enriched uranium for an atomic bomb if it chose to.

Iran has breached many of those restrictions and pushed well beyond them in response to the U.S. withdrawal from the deal in 2018 and its reimposition of sanctions under then-President Donald Trump. While the 2015 deal capped uranium enrichment at 3.67% fissile purity, Iran is now enriching to up to 60%, close to weapons grade.

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