Iran, EU to Discuss JCPOA in Days

Iran, EU to Discuss JCPOA in Days
Iran, EU to Discuss JCPOA in Days

Iran's foreign minister confirmed he would attend a meeting later this week with Europeans that, he said, would only discuss the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

"What we have agreed is to hold consultations on JCPOA with the three European parties to the deal, given the critical situation of JCPOA, which faces the destructive policies of the United States," Mohammad Javad Zarif told IRNA on Monday.

He was responding to a question about whether the upcoming talks would focus on the recent protests over economic problems, as German officials have suggested.

"The talks with the European Union will address the action plan," the top diplomat stressed.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Sunday that the European Union will invite his Iranian counterpart for discussions on the Iranian protests, in which at least 21 people have been killed and hundreds arrested since their eruption on Dec. 28.

"Together with the EU foreign policy chief [Federica Mogherini], we agreed to invite the Iranian foreign minister, if possible next week," he told German public broadcaster ZDF on Sunday, as cited by the National, without giving further details.

Iran's Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qasemi said the talks are being held at Mogherini's invitation, possibly in the bloc's headquarters in Brussels.

"Mogherini has also invited foreign ministers of Germany, Britain and France to the meeting," Qasemi said.

The demonstrations in Iran started over economic hardships but quickly turned violent, with reported attacks on government buildings and police stations.

"We very quickly affirmed that we support the freedom to demonstrate and that the state should support this," Gabriel said.

***Independent Approach

However, Gabriel said Berlin will not follow the lead of US President Donald Trump, who pledged to help Iranians "take back" their government.

Trump seized on the recent unrest to again slam the multiparty nuclear deal with Iran as deeply flawed.

The landmark accord was negotiated between Iran and P5+1 (the US, the UK, France, Russia and China plus Germany) to grant Tehran sanctions relief in return for time-bound constraints on its nuclear program.

Germany, as well as France, has "warned against attempts at instrumentalizing the domestic conflicts in Iran," said Gabriel.

French President Emmanuel Macron talked with Trump over phone about Iran's anti-government protests, among other issues.

"The presidents also agreed that the widespread demonstrations in Iran were a sign of the Iranian [government's] failure to serve its people's needs by instead diverting the nation's wealth to fund terrorism and militancy abroad," the White House alleged in a statement.


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