European Figures Back Iran Accord

European Figures  Back Iran AccordEuropean Figures  Back Iran Accord

Over 70 European political, diplomatic and military figures issued a statement expressing support for the nuclear agreement reached between Iran and major powers on July 14 in Vienna.

The European Leadership Network members urged all the parties to the agreement to implement it in good faith and called on all European states and the wider international community to support it.

The key signatories of the statement, posted on the website of ELN, include Des Browne, a former British defense secretary, George Robertson, a former NATO secretary general and British defense secretary, Malcolm Rifkind, a former British foreign secretary, Michel Rocard, a former French prime minister, Igor Yurgens, the chairman of the Management Board of Russia's Institute for Contemporary Development, Vyacheslav Trubnikov, a former director of Russian foreign intelligence, Wolfgang Ischinger, the chairman of the Munich Security Conference, Volker Ruhe, a former German defense minister, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, a former NATO Secretary General and Rolf Ekeus, a former director of the United Nations special commission on Iraq.

"We believe that this agreement provides a sound framework for ending the crisis over the Iranian nuclear program and a foundation for re-integrating Iran into the international community. At the same time, the adoption of the document is just a first step in a process which must increase the level of the security of all countries in the Middle East, Europe and beyond," the statement said.  


"We would like to congratulate the negotiators from the E3/EU+3 (Britain, France, Germany and the European Union plus the United State, Russia and China) and Iran for their perseverance and ability to strike the necessary compromises, and applaud the political leaders of all the countries involved."  

***Broader Benefits


The prominent European figures said they believe there will be broader benefits of the deal in addition to the resolution of the long-running dispute over Tehran's nuclear activities.


They said, "The agreement will open the way for economic engagement with Iran, which should strengthen internally the position of the pragmatic proponents of… cooperation with outside partners.

"The agreement may open the way for wider cooperation on pressing regional and international security issues, including the fight against ISIS (the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria), ending the Syrian civil war, guaranteeing a stable future for Afghanistan, and the fight against narcotics production and smuggling.

"The agreement represents a high water mark of multilateral diplomacy and – as confirmed by a unanimous vote on the UN Security Council resolution – shows a high degree of cohesion in the international community with regards to Iran and its expectation for Iran to comply with the agreed terms."


The ELN members also said if the western countries expect Iran to honor its commitment they should be ready to deliver on their part of the bargain.


"We therefore call on the US Congress to assess thoroughly and objectively the overall benefits and risks connected with the deal. We trust that our legislative colleagues will bear in mind the multilateral nature of the agreement, the value of sustaining the coalition for its implementation, and support for the deal expressed by the vast majority of the United States' most loyal allies. We encourage the members of Congress to give the agreement a chance to prove its usefulness."


"We call on the EU countries to proceed with scaling down of the sanctions regime, both internally and at the UN level, as proscribed in the JCPOA (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – the official name of the nuclear pact). If we want this agreement to have a truly transformational effect, the EU should also swiftly move with a well-planned political and economic outreach to Iran."


The European figures also called on the Iranian Parliament to support the implementation of the agreement, which respects Iranian sensitivities and is consistent with its national interests, including security and economic development of the country.