STRASBOURG, France – The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy underscored on Tuesday at the European Parliament in Strasbourg EU’s strong support of the nuclear agreement with Iran at the lack of a better alternative.
The nuclear deal or 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) agreement was signed in Vienna by Iran, and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – China, France, Russia, UK, US plus Germany – and the EU.
On May 8, 2018, US President Donald Trump withdrew from the agreement.
EU’s High Representative Federica Mogherini, told the EP that the EU would continue supporting the nuclear deal with Iran based on the simple pragmatic reason “there is no better alternative and the world cannot afford a nuclear arms race” and added “in particular, a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.”
Mogherini insisted it was essential for the EU’s security and for the security in the region to continue implementing the agreement, and the EU would guarantee this, regardless of the US withdrawal.
The High Commissioner mentioned another essential part of the deal, the lifting of sanctions and the opportunities it created for normalized trade and economic relations.
Mogherini warned the US withdrawal from the JCPOA and reimpose all secondary sanctions was “extremely problematic” and needed to the addressed by the EU, its member states and the rest of the international community..
During the EP plenary session debate, the top EU diplomat defended the reasons why the EU considered the agreement remained valid to this day, stressing that since its signature, Iran had continued fulfilling its commitments, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency’s own verification and monitoring activities in Iran.
Mogherini also defended the JCPOA agreement as it allowed to maintain open dialogue channels with Iran regardless of their limited nature.
On the other hand, the EU diplomat warned about the consequences of the US withdrawal on European companies and an increased sense of instability: “Preserving the nuclear deal is essential to our common security, both for Europe, for the US and the entire Middle East” at the risk of falling “into a spiral of nuclear proliferation” or even “open conflict.”
Mogherini reminded that many European corporations began operations in Iran “in good faith” and was favorable in maintaining EU-Iranian cooperation in banking, finance, commerce, investment, oil, and transport.