EU: Nuclear deal endorsed by UN, not to change

The European Union’s top diplomat said the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers has been reflected in a UN Security Council resolution and cannot be dismissed by one government, stressing that it is incumbent upon the EU to make sure the accord is fully implemented.

“Let me tell you very clearly that this is not a bilateral agreement, it is a multilateral agreement, endorsed by the UN Security Council resolution. So it is in our European interest, but also in the UN interest and duty to guarantee that the agreement is implemented in full. For the whole duration of the agreement, which is 10 years,” EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, said on Sunday evening after an informal meeting of the European Union’s foreign ministers in Brussels, the official website of the EU reported on Monday.

The ministers discussed a wide range of issue, including the change of US foreign policy under President-elect Donald Trump.

“I have personally a specific role to guarantee that this (nuclear deal) is done by all sides, and for sure this is in the European interest. So we will take that as one of the key elements that will not change,” she added.

Iran and five permanent members of the UN Security Council (Russia, China, the US, Britain and France), plus Germany reached the comprehensive nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in July 2015 and implemented it in January 2016.

Under the deal, Iran agreed to limit certain aspects of its nuclear program in return for the lifting of nuclear-related sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council, the US and the European Union.

Trump threatened he would “tear up” the JCPOA or try to renegotiate its terms if he was to be elected president.

Trump raised the prospect that the United States will pull out of the pact, calling it a “disaster” and “the worst deal ever negotiated” during campaigning for the White House, although he conceded it would be hard to destroy a deal enshrined in a United Nations resolution.

Reacting to the US election results, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that the Islamic Republic expected the US president-elect to honor the JCPOA.

“What is important is that America’s next president is bound by the multilateral commitments of the JCPOA,” he said.

“We are certain the international community would expect the same thing from the United States of America,” Iran’s top diplomat said.

Ties with Iran

Also on Monday, the EU said it would keep pushing to restore ties with Iran in line with last year’s nuclear deal.

“The European Union reiterates its resolute commitment to the [Iran nuclear] deal,” the bloc’s foreign ministers said in a statement in Brussels.

“The European Union is committed to support the full and effective implementation … by the lifting of nuclear related economic and financial sanctions and engaging with the private sector and economic operators, especially banks, to promote growth in trade and investment.”

“For Iran to fully benefit from the lifting of sanctions… it is important that it addresses obstacles related to economic and fiscal policy, business environment and rule of law,” the EU ministers’ statement said.

Iran is the largest economy outside of the World Trade Organization and Brussels says it wants to see it restart talks on meeting all the requirements to join.

Over the decade of sanctions, EU exports to Iran had fallen from 13 billion euros ($14 billion) in 2005 to 6.5 billion euros last year. The bloc’s imports from Iran dropped from 11.5 billion euros in 2005 to 1.2 billion euros last year, EU data shows.

But the EU says trade has picked up, with January-June exports to Iran up by 13 percent at 3.565 billion euros from the same period last year. EU imports from Iran were up by 52 percent at 396 million euros, according to EU figures.

European diplomats fear that growing trade would be thwarted should Trump act on his criticism of the nuclear deal.

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