Iran, EU Outline Vision for Wider Cooperation

Iran, EU Outline Vision for Wider CooperationIran, EU Outline Vision for Wider Cooperation

During a visit by an EU delegation to Tehran on Saturday, a joint statement was issued to specify objectives for widening bilateral ties in different fields.

The statement said the two sides will be following three "overarching objectives", according to a Foreign Ministry press release.

They will deepen cooperation by ensuring and supporting the full implementation of the July 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and major powers.

Iran and EU will develop cooperative relations in the areas of mutual interest to enhance economic development, human rights, prosperity and wellbeing of the two sides' peoples.

They will cooperate to help promote regional peace, security and stability, and find peaceful settlements to regional conflicts through dialogue and engagement.

The nuclear accord, reached with P5+1 (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany) went into effect in mid-January to subject Tehran's nuclear program to time-bound curbs in return for relief from international sanctions that had shut Iran out of global markets.

EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, was heading the European delegation, accompanied by seven commissioners representing the bloc's various sectors. They met with their Iranian counterparts.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif led the Iranian delegation. The statement said an EU liaison team will be sent to Tehran "to facilitate cooperation and with a view to preparing the future opening of an EU delegation in Tehran, in accordance with rules and regulations of the Islamic Republic of Iran".

"This will contribute to strengthening the relations and implement future cooperation initiatives."

According to the statement, the program of cooperation will cover a broad range of domains, including politics, economy, culture, education, human rights, energy, environment, transport and agriculture.

Mogherini told a joint press conference after meeting Zarif that her side welcomes the new chapter opening in Iran-EU relations and is determined to remove obstacles in the way of increasing cooperation, including banking restrictions, Fars News Agency reported.

Iranian officials have expressed grievances that Tehran is not benefiting from the nuclear deal, as foreign banks still steer clear of processing transactions on fears that they might fall foul of the remaining US sanctions over alleged human rights abuses in Iran and the country's missile program.

Zarif said at the news conference that Iran and the EU will put pressure on the United States to facilitate the cooperation of non-American banks with Iran.

"It's essential that the other side, especially the United States, fulfill its commitments not on paper but in practice and remove the obstacles, especially in the banking sector," he added.