News ID: 278190
Published: 0353 GMT December 15, 2020

Top EU diplomat vows to continue nuclear talks with Iran

Top EU diplomat vows to continue nuclear talks with Iran

The European Union will continue nuclear talks with Iran regardless of the recent execution of a counterrevolutionary figure in Iran, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said.

Speaking at a news conference in Berlin on Monday, the top EU diplomat added that the meeting of the Joint Commission of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the 2015 multilateral nuclear agreement signed between Iran and major world powers, will be held in Vienna, Austria, this week as planned before.

"I don't think we have to change our schedule and our work in order to keep the JCPOA alive. We will continue working for it," he added, according to Press TV.

The next round of the JCPOA Joint Commission meeting will be held on today via a videoconference at the level of deputy foreign ministers and political directors.

US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew Washington from the agreement in May 2018 and unleashed the toughest ever” sanctions on Iran.

Following its much-criticized exit, Washington has been attempting to prevent the remaining signatories from abiding by their commitments and thus kill the historic agreement, which is widely viewed as a fruit of international diplomacy.

On December 8, Borrell said the United States needs to rejoin the JCPOA, commending the multilateral agreement for perfectly exemplifying a successful diplomatic strategy.

"We need to find a way for the US to rejoin the Iran nuclear deal, and for Iran to come back into full compliance. The nuclear deal is still assessed as a landmark of successful diplomacy ... We are proud of it as the biggest success of our diplomatic capacity," Borrell told a GLOBSEC webinar.

Britain, France and Germany have reaffirmed their support for the JCPOA as a key achievement” of international diplomacy, welcoming statements by incoming US President Joe Biden, concerning a return to the multilateral agreement. They are parties to the nuclear accord, alongside China and Russia.

In a statement last week, the three signatories to the JCPOA said they had worked tirelessly” to preserve the deal, calling it a key achievement of multilateral diplomacy and the global nonproliferation architecture.”

Borrell further pointed to a decision made by EU member states to postpone a major three-day forum on business between Iran and Europe, which was scheduled to kick off on Monday, in the wake of the execution of Rouhollah Zam and said, "The member states of the EU decided not to participate… and this meeting has been canceled. This will not take place under current circumstances."

Zam was hanged on Saturday after Irans Supreme Court affirmed his conviction on the basis of spreading corruption on earth among other charges, which bought him a death sentence from the Islamic Revolution Court back in June.

On Saturday, the EU condemned Zam's execution in the "strongest terms".


Ties unlikely to suffer

President Hassan Rouhani on Monday said Iran-Europe relations are unlikely to suffer over Zams execution.  

"I don't think this issue will harm relations between Iran and Europe," Rouhani said in a press conference, according to AFP.

He further criticized certain European countries for reacting to the execution, saying their apparent sensitivity on this issue amounts to interference in Irans internal affairs.

"The Europeans have always been sensitive regarding some issues, and so are we" regarding Europe, Rouhani said.

"We do have execution sentences in this country, it is part of our law. Why be so sensitive regarding a specific individual?" he added. "It conveys a sense of meddling" in Iran's affairs.

Iran on Sunday summoned the ambassador of Germany, which currently holds the EU's presidency, as well as that of France, to protest the bloc's and the respective countries' condemnations of the execution.


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