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Concern over course taken by USA

Europe committed to Iran nuclear deal

In contrast to the USA, Europe stands committed to the nuclear deal with Iran, the EU ministers of foreign affairs have declared at a meeting in Luxembourg. Before the announcement, the French, German and British leaders had expressed their concerns about the course taken by the USA.

Bushehr nuclear power station in western Iran The Bushehr nuclear power station: The 2015 agreement is intended to prevent Iran acquiring nuclear weapons. Photo: picture-alliance/dpa/epa/Taherkenareh

Europe will stand by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, also known as the nuclear deal, with Iran, stated Federal Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel unequivocally in Luxembourg on Monday. In a unanimously adopted declaration the European Union has warned the USA of the potential consequences of a withdrawal from the agreement with Iran.

Undesirable signal

On Friday (13 October) US President Donald Trump refused to assure Iran that his country would continue to respect the nuclear deal. The EU member states have noted this with great concern.

Sigmar Gabriel declared his conviction that North Korea too would be monitoring the situation closely. "More than Iran is at stake. What is at stake is the global issue of how we deal with agreements that are designed to protect us from nuclear weapons being developed." An end to this programme would mean that nobody would trust agreements of this sort in future. North Korea would then develop its weapons, and other states would probably follow its example, fears the Federal Foreign Minister.

On 14 July 2015, China, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Russia the USA and the EU agreed on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, also known as the nuclear deal, with Iran. It was intended to ensure that Iran’s nuclear programme serves purely peaceful purposes. On 16 January 2016 the International Atomic Energy Organisation (IAEO) confirmed that Iran had cut back its nuclear programme as required. In return, the United Nations, the USA and the USA lifted their economic and financial sanctions on Iran.

An agreement for global security

"We stand committed to the JCPoA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) and to its full implementation by all sides," declared the French, German and British leaders on Friday. Preserving the JCPoA is in our shared national security interest, they said, expressing their concern about the possible impacts of Donald Trump’s decision.

The declaration pointed out that the deal was the culmination of 13 years of diplomacy and was a major step towards ensuring that Iran’s nuclear programme is not diverted for military purposes. At the same time, they said Europe shares the concerns of the USA about military activities in Iran. It is important to address these issues in close cooperation with the USA.

Oct 16, 2017