JCPOA Promotes Coop. on Peaceful Nuclear Energy

JCPOA Promotes Coop. on Peaceful Nuclear EnergyJCPOA Promotes Coop. on Peaceful Nuclear Energy

Secretary-General of European External Action Service Helga Schmid reiterated EU's strong defense of the Iran nuclear deal as a platform for promoting international cooperation on peaceful nuclear energy.   

"In our negotiations with other countries, all of them have expressed support for JCPOA," Schmid said, using the formal name of the accord, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, ISNA reported.

Iran agreed under the 2015 deal, negotiated with six major powers, to swap temporary restrictions on its nuclear work for the removal of international sanctions.

"JCPOA reflects a culture of cooperation to ensure the peaceful use of nuclear energy. It represents a culture of cooperation at an international level," the European diplomat said on Tuesday in an address to a two-day conference in Isfahan, titled "Second High-Level Seminar on International Nuclear Cooperation: Progress & Prospect".

US President Donald Trump has harshly attacked the action plan, negotiated under his predecessor Barack Obama, calling for either its renegotiation or its termination.

Despite the UN nuclear agency's reports that have verified Iran's full compliance with JCPOA, Trump dealt a blow to the international agreement by declaring Iran to be in violation last month without presenting any evidence.

Lacking the nerve to scuttle the deal as he had promised during his election campaigns, Trump passed the buck to the US Congress, which has until mid-December to decide whether to reinstate Iran sanctions.

Trump is holding the UN-endorsed action plan hostage to curtail the Islamic Republic's legitimate missile and regional activities, which issues are irrelevant to the nuclear accord.

The EU has rebuffed Trump's demand.

"On behalf of [European Union foreign policy chief Federica] Mogherini, who has been assigned by the EU to pursue JCPOA, I explicitly declare that the action plan cannot be renegotiated," Schmid said.

The conference, which is to continue until Wednesday, is co-chaired by Schmid and Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Abbas Araqchi.

***Roadmap for Cooperation   

Araqchi described the talks as "productive" and singled out cooperation on "nuclear safety" as among the key topics discussed.

"The conference was quite productive and now we have reached a point where we can outline a roadmap for future cooperation. The peaceful use of nuclear power is a very important issue and nuclear safety is one of its most important elements. Iran and the EU have begun their cooperation in this regard," he said.  

The conference is part of the third round of the so-called high-level Iran-EU talks that also saw the two sides' delegations convene a political meeting on Monday.

Bilateral issues, including trade, energy, environment, migration, humanitarian issues, drug policy, education, culture, research and transport, as well as regional issues, notably Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon and Afghanistan, were some of the topics on the agenda of the Monday meeting.

In parallel, discussions on human rights were held, in continuation of the first exploratory meeting held in November last year in Brussels, during the second round of high-level talks.

The first round of high-level bilateral talks was held in February 2016.


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