The EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, says the bloc is working with US Congress and President Donald Trump’s administration to ensure Washington’s compliance with Iran’s nuclear agreement.
Speaking at a Tuesday news conference in Washington, Mogherini said she had underlined the importance of the landmark nuclear deal in meetings with administration officials and lawmakers in Washington this week.
Mogherini expressed hope that the US would fulfill its obligations under the deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), saying, “We want to see the United States continue its implementation in the future.”
“The EU has a security interest in keeping the deal working,” she added.
Mogherini also stated that she had gotten a “clear indication that the intention is to keep the US compliant with the agreement,” adding that US lawmakers had signaled they were planning to ensure Washington would comply with the Iran nuclear deal.
The top EU diplomat dismissed Washington’s proposal to renegotiate the nuclear deal, saying, “If you reopen one part of it, the entire agreement is reopened.”
“Renegotiating part of the agreement is not an option,” Mogherini emphasized.
Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – the United States, France, Britain, Russia and China – plus Germany signed the nuclear agreement on July 14, 2015 and started implementing it on January 16, 2016.
Under the JCPOA, Iran undertook to put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions imposed against Tehran.
Although the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has repeatedly verified Iran’s compliance with the deal, Trump delivered an anti-Iran speech on October 13, in which he said he would not continue to certify Iran’s compliance and warned that he might ultimately terminate the agreement.
Trump has now kicked the issue to Congress, which has been given 60 days to decide whether to reimpose sanctions that were lifted under the deal.
Except for the US, the other parties to the accord – Britain, Germany, France, Russia, China and the European Union – have all reaffirmed their commitment to it and urged the United States not to back out.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on October 31 that the US administration could not use Congress decisions as a smokescreen, stressing that Washington sought to create obstacles to prevent Iran from benefiting from the multilateral nuclear deal.