EU Cautions US Against Quitting JCPOA

EU Cautions US Against Quitting JCPOA EU Cautions US Against Quitting JCPOA

The European Union's top diplomat cautioned Washington against pulling out of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, citing the security implications of the accord's potential collapse.

"Dismantling an agreement on nuclear issues that is working, as the International [Atomic] Energy Agency has certified nine times, would not put us in a better position to discuss all the rest, on the contrary," EU’s foreign-policy chief, Federica Mogherini, said.

She was speaking at a joint press conference with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Brussels, Belgium, on Tuesday, which Bloomberg said was descended into a thinly veiled exchange of rebukes, adding to signs of increased strain in the US-EU alliance.

Mogherini reaffirmed the EU's staunch backing for the pact, highlighting its vital security importance.

“The Iran nuclear deal is a key strategic priority for European security but also for regional and global security,” she said, emphasizing that the agreement only dealt with nuclear issues. That conflicts with US President Donald Trump’s plan to pull the plug out of the Iran nuclear deal, which has drawn sharp criticism from the EU.

The bloc has been lobbying the US Congress to overrule the president’s decision, saying that scrapping the accord would endanger stability in the wider region.

Tehran agreed under the agreement with the six power nations to subject its nuclear program to temporary curbs in return for relief from international sanctions.

Tillerson said the US administration would continue its policy of pressure on Iran over the nuclear deal, as the congress mulls over whether to reapply economic sanctions on Tehran.

The remarks by the top diplomats came after US President Donald Trump's October decision to "decertify" Iran's compliance with the pact without offering any evidence.

All the IAEA's reports have testified Iran's compliance with the deal.

Trump has described the landmark nuclear agreement negotiated under his predecessor Barack Obama as "one of the worst deals I've ever seen".

He has accused Iran of failing to live up to the spirit of the accord, citing Tehran's missile development and regional influence, which he views as a threat to the US interests in the region.

"We discussed ... our joint efforts under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [the official title of the accord] to hold Iran fully compliant with the terms of that deal and fully enforce that agreement," said Tillerson.

He pointed to the Islamic Republic's role in the campaign to contain the regional crises and claimed that Iran "is carrying out a number of other destabilizing actions in the region."

Iran denies allegations of meddling in the affairs of regional states and insists that its missile program is purely defensive.

"These issues and activities of Iran cannot be ignored and cannot go unanswered, and we intend to continue to take action to ensure Iran understands this is not acceptable to us, and we look forward to working with our European partners in that regard," Tillerson added.

Trump's decertification announcement has given the congress until mid-December to decide whether to restore the sanctions regime against Iran.


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