Ireland’s Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said Saturday his country is “a strong supporter” of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal ahead of trip to Tehran.
Coveney is set to meet President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday in his role as a UN Security Council facilitator of the nuclear deal agreed in 2015 between Iran and major world powers.
“Ireland is a strong supporter of the JCPOA. In our role as facilitator, Ireland is keen to maintain a close dialogue with all actors, and encourage all parties to return to full compliance with the agreement,” Coveney said in a statement, referring to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the Iran nuclear deal.
European Union member Ireland in January took up its seat as one of 15 members of the United Nations Security Council and the country has been appointed a facilitator of the nuclear deal for the Security Council.
According to Reuters, European sources this week said that Tehran had given positive signs about opening informal talks about reviving the JCPOA after European powers scrapped plans to criticize Tehran at the UN nuclear watchdog.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who is also due to meet Coveney during the trip, on Friday said Iran would soon present a “constructive” plan of action.
Tehran and Washington have emerged from former US president Donald Trump’s attempts to wreck the Iran nuclear deal locked in a standoff over who should move first act to save it. Trump pulled out of the deal in 2018 and reinstated and reinforced sanctions on Iran that had been lifted under the JCPOA.
A year later, Iran began to reduce its commitments to the deal in retaliation.
Britain, France and Germany decided to pause the submission of a resolution critical of Iran at the International Atomic Energy Agency on Thursday to not harm the prospects for diplomacy.
Coveney’s visit comes after his ministry this week announced plans to reopen Ireland’s Embassy in Tehran by 2023. The embassy was closed in 2012 as part of budget cuts.
‘Window of opportunity’
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said “a window of opportunity” for saving the multilateral nuclear deal remains open, expressing hope that all sides will return to the full implementation of the agreement in its original form.
"We hope that it will become possible to improve the situation in the near future and to return the JCPOA implementation process to the initially coordinated framework,” Lavrov said in an interview with the Russkaya Mysl magazine published in the UK.
He added that the revival of the JCPOA is possible only if all parties to the agreement fully implement their commitments, Press TV wrote.
“Tehran has repeatedly spoken in favor of its willingness to completely unfreeze all of the JCPOA’s provisions that it had suspended as soon as the forfeited balance of interests is restored,” the top Russian diplomat said.
He emphasized that Moscow is “closely” cooperating with all the JCPOA participants to secure their full compliance with the deal. “For example, we also maintain regular contact with European partners for elaborating possible decisions to rectify the current situation.”
Lavrov emphasized that not everything depends on Russia or the European parties to the JCPOA.
“The position of President Joe Biden’s administration on the nuclear deal is an essential aspect. In our opinion, Washington’s steps sending a message to Tehran showing serious US intentions to rejoin the JCPOA could help resolve the situation concerning Iran and its nuclear program,” the Russian foreign minister said.
When asked whether it was possible to restore the Iran nuclear deal in cooperation with European countries, he expressed Russia’s readiness to “help reach the relevant agreements in every way”.
The Biden administration has indicated its willingness to rejoin the JCPOA, but conditioned the move on Tehran’s resumption of the commitments it has suspended under the accord in response to the US withdrawal and the other parties’ failure to meet their end of the bargain.
Last month, Washington retreated from some of its anti-Iran measures as it lifted travel restrictions on Iranian envoys accredited to the United Nations and reversed a claim by the Trump administration that it had triggered the so-called snapback provision in the JCPOA and reimposed all UN sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
But Tehran says the US should unconditionally remove all the sanctions imposed under Trump in a verifiable manner.