The European Union has reiterated its strong and unequivocal commitment to the full implementation of the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran by all sides, saying preserving the deal is vital.
“The Europeans have always made it clear, the European Union has always made it clear that for us, keeping the agreement in place is vital. It is a strategic interest for the European Union and we will stick to it,” EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, told reporters on Monday ahead of the bloc’s Foreign Affairs Council meeting in Luxembourg.
US President Donald Trump is a stern critic of the nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), reached between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council — the United States, France, Britain, China, Russia – plus Germany. Under the agreement, nuclear-related sanctions put in place against Iran were lifted in exchange for curbs on Tehran’s nuclear program.
The US president on January 12 reluctantly agreed to waive sanctions against Iran that were lifted as part of the landmark deal, but threatened to withdraw from the accord if some “disastrous flaws” were not fixed.
He said he wanted America’s European allies to use the 120-day period before sanctions relief again came up for renewal to agree to tougher measures and new conditions; otherwise Washington would pull out of the deal.
Mogherini further pointed to the May 12 “deadline” and said, ” We are doing all we can to work with our American friends to make sure that all parties stay fully committed to the full implementation of the agreement, as it is the case so far.”
She once again confirmed Iran’s full compliance with its nuclear commitments under the JCPOA, saying that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has also verified the country’s adherence to the deal in 10 reports.
Since the JCPOA Implementation Day in January 2016, the IAEA has been monitoring Iran’s compliance with its nuclear-related commitments under the nuclear deal and has consistently verified the Islamic Republic’s compliance.
In a speech to a quarterly meeting of the IAEA’s Board of Governors in Vienna in March, Director General of the UN nuclear agency, Yukiya Amano, once again confirmed Iran’s compliance with the 2015 nuclear agreement, warning that any collapse of the deal would be a “great loss.”
The IAEA head says any collapse of the Iran nuclear deal would be a great loss.
“As of today, I can state that Iran is implementing its nuclear-related commitments…If the JCPOA were to fail, it would be a great loss for nuclear verification and for multilateralism,” Amano added.
Mogherini also emphasized that preserving the IAEA’s credibility was “crucial” and said, “Work is ongoing and we believe it would be essential to stay united in this.”
She added that the EU did not foresee any decision to impose new sanctions against Iran on Monday.
“As you know, we have already sanctions in place on Iran; non-nuclear related. I do not expect [EU foreign] ministers to take decision on this today,” the EU foreign policy chief said.
Iran’s nuclear chief said earlier this month that it would be humiliating for Europe to follow suit with the US policy on the JCPOA.
Iran’s nuclear chief says it would be humiliating for Europe to follow US suit on the JCPOA.
When asked about the possible reaction of the European countries in case the US president decides to quit the nuclear accord with Iran, Ali Akbar Salehi said, “This is a very complicated question in political terms and needs extensive analysis…. Suffice to say that it will be politically derogatory for Europe to follow the US policy on the JCPOA” unquestioningly, because it proves that European countries lack independence in their decision-making process.