BRUSSELS – The European Union’s foreign affairs chief, Federica Mogherini, strongly reinforced on Thursday the bloc’s continued commitment to the international Iran nuclear deal which was recently jeopardized by US President Donald Trump’s threat to withdraw his country’s participation.
Mogherini was speaking alongside the foreign ministers of France, Germany and the United Kingdom following a Brussels meeting with their Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif in which the diplomats broached the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, an accord that saw Tehran swap much of its nuclear program for a relaxation of the international sanctions that had been imposed previously.
“The European Union has expressed a very clear position on the nuclear deal as it was stated by the 28 European Union members states minister already in October last year and repeated again today: the deal is working,” Mogherini told a press conference.
“It is delivering on its main goal, which means keeping the Iranian nuclear program in check and under close surveillance,” she added.
The deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, was signed by the US, China, Russia, France, the United Kingdom plus Germany and also the European Union, ensures that Iran’s nuclear program remained exclusively peaceful and its continued implementation was crucial to maintaining stability in the region, while also offering trade benefits and economic relief to the Iranian people, she said.
The head of foreign policy in Brussels highlighted that the International Atomic Energy Agency, an independent body that answers to the United Nations, has published nine reports confirming that Iran was complying with the nuclear agreement.
However, Trump has harshly criticized the nuclear deal with Iran, which was signed by his predecessor Barrack Obama in 2015 and was expected to announce a final decision on whether to withdraw Washington’s participation in the pact by mid-January.
France’s foreign minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, directly urged the US to stay on track with its commitment to the landmark deal.
“We see no particular reason to disengage in any way from this agreement, as Iran has been seen to respect all the provisions of this agreement,” he said, striking a chord with his German and British counterparts, Sigmar Gabriel and Boris Johnson.