Call for Europe's More Serious Support for JCPOA

France is determined to continue building economic ties with Iran, as evidenced by an over two fold rise in bilateral trade since the January 2016 enforcement of the nuclear deal
Abbas AraqchiAbbas Araqchi
Bright prospects for Tehran-Paris trade in the wake of the nuclear deal have been dimmed by France's alignment with the US to call for new curbs on Tehran's missile program and regional activities

Iran urged a more resolute and outspoken stance on the part of Europe against attempts aimed at undermining the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

"Europe should adopt a serious and clear stance in the face of the obstacles to JCPOA's implementation and moves by certain countries to weaken it," nuclear negotiator Abbas Araqchi said, alluding to US President Donald Trump's bellicose approach toward the multi-sided accord.

Araqchi, who serves as deputy foreign minister for legal and international affairs, made the call in a Wednesday meeting with his French counterpart, Secretary-General of France's Ministry of Foreign Affairs Maurice Gourdault-Montagne, IRNA reported.

He was in Paris for the fourth round of bilateral political talks that are held within the framework of a memorandum of understanding signed by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani during his 2016 visit to France.

The negotiations, held alternately in Tehran and Paris every six months, are supposed to be a mechanism within which the two countries can develop bilateral relations in political, economic and cultural spheres.

Iran has repeatedly asked the European side to the nuclear deal to do more to stop Trump's anti-JCPOA attempts.

The hawkish US president has railed the UN-endorsed deal, negotiated under his predecessor, Barack Obama, to curtail Tehran's nuclear activities in return for the easing of international sanctions.

His refusal to recertify Iran's compliance with the action plan and a threat to terminate it has created much controversy over its fate.

It has particularly unsettled Washington's European allies who have warned Trump against dismantling an international agreement that they have described as a major triumph of diplomacy.

Gourdault-Montagne reaffirmed his side's resolve to continue building economic ties with the Islamic Republic, praising a 250% boost in bilateral trade over the past two years.

The two sides got off a good start in their renewed efforts to bolster relations in the wake of sanctions removal in early 2016, signing billions of dollars worth of deals in auto and energy sectors.      

But bright prospects for bilateral trade have been dimmed by France's alignment with the Trump administration to call for new curbs on Tehran's missile program and regional activities.

Discussions on regional and international issues, especially developments in the Persian Gulf and the Middle East, were on the agenda of this round of Tehran-Paris talks.

During his two-day trip, Araqchi met other senior French officials and delivered a lecture at the French Institute of International Relations.


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