EU Emphasizes Collective Obligation to Save JCPOA
EghtesadOnline: The new European Union foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, underscored the collective responsibility of the 2015 nuclear deal signatories to preserve it as a crucial element of global security and non-proliferation.
“#JCPOA is crucial for global security & nuclear non-proliferation. We have collective responsibility to preserve #IranDeal,” he tweeted following a meeting of the deal's Joint Commission on Friday.
Borrell used the abbreviation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the formal name of the nuclear agreement between Iran and the six world powers that has been fraying since the United States' withdrawal and reimposition of sanctions last year.
Iran remained fully committed to the accord for a year, but began reducing its compliance in May as the remaining parties, particularly Europe, failed to deliver on their promises to offset the effects of US sanctions, Financial Tribune reported.
Europe has been urging Iran to return to full compliance, while Iran intends to continue scaling back JCPOA commitments unless its economic woes are addressed, in which case all previous steps will be reversed.
The parties on Friday discussed the dispute in a rather tense atmosphere in the meeting of the deal's Joint Commission, which is responsible for overseeing the implementation of the agreement.
"All participants emphasized the key importance of full and effective implementation by all sides as well as their determination to pursue all efforts to preserve the agreement," according to a statement by the event's chair, Secretary-General of the European External Action Service Helga Schmid.
The deal's remaining parties also encouraged Iran to restore its full adherence and "avoid further escalatory steps" in this regard, the document added.
Borrell posted the statement on his Twitter account, expressing support for the members' call.
"Following the Joint Commission, as coordinator, I support the call for full implementation & to reverse recent negative trend."
Constructive Working Relationship
Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi also held bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the Friday conference, including with the new chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael Grossi.
He later described the meeting as fruitful for a start, as both sides agreed to continue the previous "positive" cooperation between Iran and the agency.
IAEA also reported the meeting on its Twitter account, pointing out the main topic of discussion between the two officials who held talks for the first time.
"IAEA Director General @rafaelmgrossi met Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister @araghchi on Friday to discuss the Agency's safeguards activities in Iran, including verification and monitoring of the country's nuclear-related commitments under the JCPOA, and other issues."
The agency also noted that the new director general aims to establish a constructive working relationship with Iran.
In the meeting, according to IAEA's tweet, he also stressed the need for "full and timely cooperation" by Iran in addressing the agency’s questions regarding the country's safeguards declarations.
Grossi was referring to the claim that uranium particles have been found in an undeclared site in Tehran.
Over the past few weeks, the UN nuclear watchdog has been seeking a "satisfactory" explanation for the uranium traces allegedly found by IAEA inspectors at the site.