Remarks by High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini following the Ministerial Meeting of the E3/EU + 3 and Iran
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New York, 20 September 2017
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Good evening. Good to see you. I just chaired a meeting of the Foreign Ministers of China and the Russian Federation, the United States, France, Germany, the UK and Iran, during which we discussed the implementation of the nuclear deal with Iran.
It has been a frank, open, and in-depth discussion during which we have agreed on the fact that all sides are implementing - so far - fully the agreement, as it has been certified by the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] eight times for what concerns the nuclear commitments of Iran. The last time we received a report from the IAEA was just 10 days ago. And this was not under discussion. All agreed on this. No violations, and my sincere hope is that this is going to continue to be the case.
The scope of the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action], the scope of the nuclear deal is related to the nuclear program of Iran. There are other issues that are out of the scope of the agreement. There are other issues that are out of the scope of the agreements and these issues might be tackled in different formats, in different fora, including the fact - that it's not a mystery I guess - the United States is having a review on its own Iranian policy. This is out of the discussion of the JCPOA, out of the discussion of this format, and we are sticking to the point that the nuclear agreement is working, is delivering, it's functioning.
I can share with you that the general sense that we shared tonight with the ministers, is that with the difficult times we are living in in the world of today - with quite a good number of conflicts, crises and a nuclear threat coming from a different part of the world - the international community cannot afford dismantling an agreement that is working and delivering.
I would also like to underline one last point and then I'll take a few questions - hoping to have the answers - that this is not a bilateral agreement. This is not an agreement that involves six or seven parties. This is a UN Security Council Resolution with an annex. And as such, all Member States of the United Nations are considered to be bound to the implementation of it.
So, it doesn't belong to one country, to six countries, to seven countries, to the European Union - it belongs to the international community.
Q: Representative Mogherini, was there a discussion of the sunset clause or ballistic missiles on the part of the United States or anyone else? Did you agree to any discussion of changes?
A: No discussion on changes. As I said, we're talking about a UN Security Council resolution. I would like to read to you, if I can, because sometimes we forget what the text is about. I'm glad to provide you the full one hundred and four pages we negotiated for more or less 12 years. I guess this is already an answer to your question about renegotiating parts of it. Point three of the preamble - so the very beginning of the agreement says: Iran reaffirms that under no circumstances will Iran ever seek, develop or acquire any nuclear weapons. There are some provisions in the agreement that have a temporary duration. There are other provisions that have no temporary limit - that are forever. And there is in any case the commitment of Iran as a member of the Non-Proliferation Treaty that stays and I think that point three of this very beginning of the agreement speaks for itself.
Q: You said that there were issues that were not within the scope of this agreement. How will these issues be discussed - in what format? And is there any room in your view, to reopen the JCPOA, to discuss some of these other issues of concern. And if not, why not.
A: As I said, the agreement is working and is delivering for its purpose, for what's in the agreement, which is a nuclear non-proliferation agreement. And let me underline one thing that must be self-evident to all in the world, I think, in this moment having a nuclear non-proliferation agreement that is delivering is quite a strategic instrument in the hands of the international community. It's not an irrelevant part of global security.
We already have one potential nuclear crisis. We definitely do not need to go into a second one. This is an agreement that prevented a nuclear programme and potentially prevented a military intervention. Let's not forget that. But to come to your question.
There is no need to renegotiate parts of the agreement, because the agreement is concerning a nuclear programme and, as such, it's delivering. We all agreed on the fact that there is no violation, that the nuclear programme related aspects which is all the agreements are being fulfilled. The new agreement is about nuclear. Nuclear is fulfilled. The agreement is delivering. So, there is no need to reopen the agreement because it's fully delivering.
There are other issues such as the crisis in Syria, the crisis in Yemen, other different issues that are geopolitical, strategic, bilateral issues. Do the United States and Iran want to have a multilateral discussion about their bilateral relations? Happy to set up a framework for that, but I don't think this is the discussion tonight. So, what I'm saying is: the agreement is concerning the nuclear programme. As such, it's delivering, we all agreed that all parties are fulfilling their commitments, that agreement is being implemented, if there are other issues, we can discuss other issues in other fora.
Tomorrow the European Union is hosting an event on Syria. Fifty ministers will be there, we will discuss Syria. [Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad] Minister Zarif will be there, we will discuss with him Syria there. This is not the purpose of the JCPOA. My role here as chair of the Joint Commission that is monitoring the implementation of the agreement is this. The agreement is being implemented. It's working. It's delivering. It's not for one party or the other to certify this. It's for the IAEA, with its technical independent role, to provide us reports and it's for the entire Joint Commission to monitor the implementation of all this.
Q: President Trump said today that he had made up his mind about the nuclear deal. Did you get any indication from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson what that decision was? And also, when you say all of us agreed did the US also agree that Iran is in full compliance?
Q: Did the U.S. commit to remain in the agreement?
A: We are discussing. But let me tell you one thing, because again, we have worked for 12 years on this and every single word - starting from the title - has a meaning. And in this you will find a part on the dispute resolution mechanism. If there are problems of non-implementation, by any of the sides, we have a mechanism to gather at deputy’s level or ministerial level, we have some four weeks to find solutions - and as I said it's a UN Security Council resolution. So, don't imagine that one country does, or dismantles the agreement. This is a UN Security Council Resolution.
Q: Was there a discussion at all that if US leaves, what happens to JCPOA after that?
A: No, we didn't discuss that. But I can tell you, as Europeans, here I'm not speaking on behalf of all the others - I'm speaking for the European Union - as Europeans we will make sure that the agreement stays.