IAEA, EU Reiterate Support for Nuclear Deal

 IAEA, EU Reiterate Support for Nuclear Deal IAEA, EU Reiterate Support for Nuclear Deal

The UN nuclear agency and the European Union reaffirmed backing for the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement, amid rising tensions over US President Donald Trump’s hardened rhetoric against the international pact.

They made the pledge in a joint statement following the Fifth Senior Officials Meeting held annually in Brussels on Wednesday.

“The EU and the International Atomic Energy Agency reaffirmed support for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action based on their respective mandates,” said the statement carried on the IAEA website, using the official title of the pact.

It was negotiated between Iran and the six powers, namely the US, Britain, France, Russia and China plus Germany, and has been in force since January last year to grant Iran relief from international sanctions in return for time-bound curbs on its nuclear deal.

“The EU high representative [Federica Mogherini], as coordinator of the Joint Commission established under the JCPOA, will remain in close contact with the IAEA regarding continued implementation of the agreement. The EU will provide technical support to IAEA such as equipment and training,” the statement said.

A final assessment report presented by IAEA to its board of governors in the closing days of 2015 ended the agency’s probe into Tehran’s past and present nuclear activities, clearing the path for the nuclear pact to take full effect.

The Vienna-based agency is now tasked with monitoring and verifying Tehran’s commitments. Its reports have confirmed Iran’s full compliance with the action plan.

The statement came against the backdrop of the new US president threatening to either abolish or revise the agreement.

Trump does not have much leeway, as this is not a bilateral agreement, and other signatories to the deal do not see any reason for renegotiating a deal that has worked well so far for all sides.

***Stabilizing Factor

In another related development, Mogherini discussed the implementation of the accord in separate meetings with Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano on Friday on the sidelines of the G20 foreign ministers’ meeting in Bonn and the Munich Security Conference.

EU’s top diplomat reiterated the need for all sides to closely comply with their commitments under the JCPOA, according to the website of European External Action Service.

“In her capacity as coordinator of the Joint Commission, the high representative recalled that the deal is delivering on its objectives and underscored the need for a full and effective implementation by all sides throughout the lifetime of the agreement,” EEAS quoted Mogherini as saying.

“The JCPOA is a stabilizing factor and a key part of non-proliferation architecture and has to be kept and thoroughly implemented.”

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