Nuclear Accord Critical to Mideast, World Security

Europe cannot afford to undermine the credibility of a multilateral UN-endorsed nuclear agreement and cannot afford to dismantle a deal that works and delivers on its promises
Federica MogheriniFederica Mogherini

EU's top diplomat highlighted the vital security importance of the Iran nuclear pact for the region and the whole world, flatly rejecting US President Donald Trump's call for a revision of the historic agreement.

"Preserving and implementing the nuclear deal with Iran is an absolute must. We simply cannot afford more tension in the Middle East and another nuclear proliferation crisis. We cannot afford to undermine the credibility of a multilateral agreement, endorsed by the UN Security Council resolution, and we cannot afford to dismantle a deal that works and delivers on its promises," Federica Mogherini was quoted as saying by the European External Action Service's website.

"The deal with Iran is ensuring the peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear program. This is vital for our collective security—in the European Union, in the region and beyond."

Mogherini was speaking on Tuesday at a plenary session of the European Parliament on the 2015 deal, which was negotiated by Iran and the former US administration and those of the other five major powers to give Tehran sanctions relief in return for temporary curbs on its nuclear work.

Trump has taken a harsh line against the international accord, describing it as "the worst deal ever" and calling for it to be amended to include curbs on Tehran's regional role and missile program, which issues are not part of the deal in its current form.

Iran denies having ever considered developing nuclear weapons and has firmly dismissed Trump's call for reopening the deal.

"The deal … showed that diplomacy is the best way to overcome longstanding problems that sometimes seem impossible to solve. This is something that we have not forgotten. This is why we believe that a diplomatic but critical engagement with Iran can benefit the entire Middle East and prevent a regional escalation that would destabilize the whole world," Mogherini said.

  Renegotiation Not an Option  

She renewed the EU's vow to preserve the deal in the face of Trump's bellicose stance, stressing that reopening the UN-buttressed agreement is out of question.

"Renegotiating the deal or part of it is simply not an option—no one can possibly in good faith believe that this is a credible way to follow. After President Trump's announcement on a new US strategy toward Iran, we Europeans have made our position very clear," the top diplomat said.

"Preserving the deal is our shared security interest, and the best way for the United States to address their security concerns which are also ours, is in close cooperation with us, Europeans."

Mogherini reiterated the bloc's assertion that concerns over Tehran's non-nuclear activities should be addressed through a mechanism separate from nuclear negotiations. "We Europeans share many of our American friends' preoccupations regarding the regional situation and Iran's ballistic missile program … But these issues should not be mixed up with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [the official title of the deal] and must be addressed in the appropriate formats and fora. Dismantling a nuclear agreement that is working would not put us in a better position to discuss all the rest—the contrary would happen."

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