EU member states urge Washington to avoid scraping nuclear agreement

Following a meeting with Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini declared, in a press conference with the top diplomats of France, Britain and Germany, that “the deal is working,” while underlining the fact that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action delivers on its main goal, which is: “keeping Iran’s nuclear program in check under close surveillance” under scrutiny of the International Atomic Energy Agency, which confirmed Tehran’s compliance. Mogherini asserted, “The deal is working. It is delivering on its main goal which means keeping the Iranian nuclear program in check and under close surveillance. the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) has confirmed in nine reports that Iran is fully complying with the commitments made under the agreement. Its continued, successful implementation ensures that Iran’s nuclear program remains exclusively peaceful and by the way, this is regularly discussed in the framework of the joint commission which I am coordinating,” the EU’s Foreign Policy Chief declared.

The Foreign Ministers of France, Britain and Germany, which were part of the P5+1 that negotiated the deal with Iran, all maintained that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action should be preserved. That said, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian stressed that keeping the nuclear deal did not mean Europe does not see other Iranian violations, including Tehran’s dangerous action across the Middle East, as well as its ballistic missiles program. He said, “That does not mean that we hide other disagreements, which exist, as the High Representative (Federica Mogherini) has said, both in the ballistic field and over Iran’s action in the whole region. We have to talk about these two topics, but we make a difference, we do not link the necessary debate, discussion, on these disagreement points with the necessity to maintain scrupulously the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) which is at the same time a way to preserve peace,” Jean Yves Le Drian stressed.

While the German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel warned that scraping the nuclear agreement would challenge future attempts to advance in diplomatic efforts to thwart countries from limiting their nuclear programs, his British counterpart Boris Johnson stressed that while the opponents of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action work tirelessly to scrap the agreement, they have not produced a better alternative to the deal that has clearly prevented Iran from going ahead with the acquisition of any military nuclear capability. Secretary Johnson said, “I want to stress, just in conclusion, that I don’t think that anybody has so far produced a better alternative to the JCPOA as a way of preventing the Iranians from going ahead with the acquisition of any military nuclear capability. I don’t think anybody has come up with a better idea. And I think it is incumbent on those who oppose the JCPOA really to come up with that better solution because we haven’t seen it so far,” he said. Following the meeting between the European Foreign Ministers and their Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif, the latter stated on his tweeter account that “The Brussels meeting had shown a “strong consensus” that Iran was complying with the pact, had the right to enjoy its economic benefits and “any move that undermines (it) is unacceptable.”

It is important to note that EU-member states have benefited from the renewed trade with Iran, since sanctions have been lifted, while U.S. companies are still largely barred from doing business with the Islamic Republic due to other sanctions unrelated to the nuclear issue. A European diplomat told TV7, the meeting in Brussels was choreographed to send a message to Washington before Trump is due to decide whether to re-impose oil sanctions lifted under the deal. A move that would challenge future business between Iran and the European Union as Tehran has said it would no longer be bound by the nuclear agreement and could return to producing enriched uranium.