European Union Determined to Preserve Nuclear Pact

European Union Determined to Preserve Nuclear Pact  European Union Determined to Preserve Nuclear Pact

The European Union's top diplomat on Friday renewed the bloc's commitment to ensure that the 2015 Iran nuclear deal will continue to be fully implemented "by all and in all its parts".

Speaking at a security conference in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, on Friday, the EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, said the pact was "a major achievement of European and international multilateral diplomacy that is delivering", Reuters reported.

Elsewhere in her remarks at the NATO defense ministers' meeting in Brussels on Wednesday upon her arrival from the US, Mogherini said the EU attaches "great importance in this moment to keeping the Iran nuclear deal up and running. We see this is delivering—I discussed this also in these days with our friends in Washington and I am confident we will manage to keep the Iran nuclear deal in place."

US President Donald Trump on Oct. 13 dealt a blow to the pact by refusing to certify that Tehran was complying with the accord even though international inspectors said it was.

He has demanded the international deal be renegotiated, citing concerns that it has stopped short of curbing Tehran's missile and regional activities.

Iran argues that all the participants in the multi-party nuclear negotiations agreed that the 2015 agreement's terms would not cover issues beyond the nuclear issue and that its missile activities are purely defensive and legitimate.

Mogherini, who attended the nuclear talks leading to the Iran deal as the top coordinator, dismissed the US administration's call for a revision of the landmark accord, reiterating that non-nuclear issues with Iran should not interfere with the implementation of the landmark accord.

**Separate Issues

"We have in the European Union strong concerns about both the ballistic missile program and some of [Iran's] policies in the region—especially linked to the conflicts in Syria or in Yemen. We made clear, very clear, that these issues have to be tackled outside of the nuclear agreement that covers only nuclear-related issues. For us, it is very important to keep the nuclear agreement as it is; renegotiation is not possible in our view and you do not change an agreement that is delivering," she said.

"Outside of the agreement, in the proper formats, we are already addressing some of the issues that are of concern."

Trump's decertification of Iran last month has given the US Congress until mid-December to decide whether to reimpose anti-Iran sanctions lifted under the deal in return for temporary restrictions on its nuclear work.

Also during her Washington visit on Tuesday, Mogherini said US lawmakers had signaled they plan to ensure the United States complies with the deal, despite Trump's misgivings.

"I got clear indications that the intention is to keep the United States compliant with the agreement," she told a press conference.

Mogherini sought to avoid publicly becoming embroiled in the US congressional debate about what kind of legislation, if any, to pass even as she stressed the EU's desire to see the US stick with the nuclear agreement.

"I made clear any outcome of any process ... has to be, at the end of the day, compliant with the deal," she said.

Mogherini had voiced her readiness to help lawmakers "find solutions that are compatible" with US compliance under the agreement.

Separately, the head of the UN nuclear watchdog told reporters it would be "a pity" if Iran were to cease to provisionally implement the Additional Protocol, which gives the agency more tools to verify a country's nuclear compliance.

"The Additional Protocol is the most ... important tool for us in the verification. So if it happens, it's a pity," said International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Yukiya Amano.

Under the 2015 deal, Iran agreed to provisionally implement the Additional Protocol.

Amano told reporters that if Iran were to discontinue the protocol, IAEA would not be able to get access to any undeclared nuclear sites.

Asked if the Iranians had given him any sign that they might abandon the Additional Protocol, Amano replied, "They don't say what will happen, but anything can happen. That is my sense."

***IAEA Satisfied With Verification Process

Amano met the US envoy to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, at the global body's headquarters in New York on Thursday.

"Iran is now subject to the world's most robust nuclear verification regime and the IAEA has so far had access to all the locations it needed to visit in the country. IAEA inspectors will continue to carry out their work in an impartial and factual manner," he told Haley, as cited by the agency's website.

In a related development, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has traveled to the US "to underline benefits of the Iran nuclear deal" in talks with senior leaders of the US Congress.

"We've got to make the case to preserve the Iran deal," Johnson tweeted on Thursday.




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