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EghtesadOnline: A top Belgian lawmaker reiterated his country's interest in developing close, comprehensive cooperation with Iran and pledged on behalf of the European Union to spare no effort to preserve the 2015 nuclear deal.

"We are quite determined to expand bilateral and multilateral cooperation involving the EU with the Islamic Republic," President of the Belgian Chamber of Representatives Siegfried Bracke was quoted as saying by ISNA in a meeting with President Hassan Rouhani in Tehran on Saturday.

The European Union played a coordinating role during the negotiations between Iran and P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany), which culminated in the deal on July 14, 2015.

It became effective on January 16, 2016, to curtail Tehran's nuclear activities in return for granting it relief from international sanctions, according to Financial Tribune.

The prospect of lucrative transactions with Iranian counterparts in the wake of sanctions relief has brought a wave of European trade delegations toward the untapped Iranian market.

"The visits by several missions from the Belgian Parliament to Tehran in recent months signal that Brussels attaches great importance to the development of ties with Iran and we believe that we should boost our national interests by taking advantage of the great opportunity that has emerged after JCPOA and stepping up efforts to remove obstacles to the expansion of trade relations," Bracke said.

He was using the formal title of the deal, namely the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

Bracke reiterated the EU promise to safeguard the action plan against the harsh attacks of US President Donald Trump who is intent on killing the action plan.

"JCPOA is of utmost importance for Belgium and the EU, and we will make every effort to ensure the EU fulfills all its commitments," he said.

The Trump administration is conducting a unilateral review of Iran's JCPOA compliance from that of the International Atomic Energy Agency, which is officially tasked by the deal to monitor Tehran's commitments.

President Hassan Rouhani noted that IAEA is the only reliable international body that wields the statutory oversight authority to verify Tehran's adherence to the deal.

"We believe that the only organization eligible to declare whether Iran has been compliant is the IAEA. According to the agency's [quarterly] reports so far, the Islamic Republic has honored its obligations under the action plan and we expect the other parties to uphold their own side of the agreement," he said.


Hassan Rouhani Iran deal Iran nuclear deal Iran Belgium Siegfried Bracke