Remarks by High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini on the latest developments regarding the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (Iran nuclear deal)

Bruxelles, 13/10/2017 - 20:48, UNIQUE ID: 171013_14
Remarks

Remarks by High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini on the latest developments regarding the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (Iran nuclear deal)

More than 2 years ago, exactly in July 2015, the international community welcomed the result of 12 years of intense negotiations on the Iranian nuclear programme – 104 pages full of technical details, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the JCPOA.

It is not a bilateral agreement, it does not belong to any single country and it is not up to any single country to terminate it. It is a multilateral agreement that was unanimously endorsed by the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231. It is a robust deal  that provides guarantees and a strong monitoring mechanism that Iran nuclear programme is and will remain exclusively for civilian purposes only.

We cannot afford as international community - as EU for sure - to dismantle a nuclear agreement that is working and delivering, especially now. The International Atomic Energy Agency, the IAEA, has verified 8 times that Iran is implementing all its nuclear-related commitments following a comprehensive and strict monitoring system.

There have been no violations of any of the commitments included in the agreement. The scope of the agreement relates to the nuclear programme and it is being fulfilled. The deal has prevented, continues to prevent, and will continue to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action represents a key and functioning pillar of the international non-proliferation architecture that is even more important to preserve at a time of acute nuclear threat.

We believe we have a collective responsibility to preserve it for our own collective security.

The United States' domestic process – and I underline domestic – following today's announcement of President Trump is now in the hands of the United States' Congress. The JCPOA is not a domestic issue but a United Nations Security Council Resolution.

The international community, and the European Union with it, has clearly indicated that the deal is and will continue to be in place. The European Union continues to fully support the Iran nuclear deal, and the full and strict implementation of all its provisions by all parties.

The European Union, together with the rest of the international community, is committed to preserve it, to the benefit of all, including the Iranian people.

 

Q&A:

Q. Can Mr Trump terminate the deal? You just said he cannot, he just said he can. Which one of you is right? Can you explain that to us? And secondly and crucially, if Mr Tillerson comes to you in January or February after a change in the US law - if that happens - and says, “let's work on a successor separate agreement dealing with ballistic missiles and sunsets in the agreement or Mr Trump will kill this deal”, what will you say to him?

I just spoke to Secretary [of State of the United States of America, Rex] Tillerson and that was not part of our conversation.

I do not need to explain to you who know the agreement very well. This deal is not a bilateral agreement. This is not an international treaty. This is an annex, a very long annex, to a UN Security Council Resolution, unanimously adopted.

To my knowledge, there is not one single country in the world that can terminate a UN Security Council Resolution that has been adopted, even more so, unanimously, that has been implemented and verified, and that the rest of the international community continues to support and to implement.

It is clearly not in the hands of any president of any country in the world to terminate an agreement of this sort. Because this a UN Security Council Resolution. This is a plan of action that sets things to be done, nuclear-related commitments – and only nuclear-related commitments – and that is being implemented.

So, the President of the United States has many powers, not this one.

In the future, I believe – as I said – the rest of the international community, and for sure the European Union, will preserve the agreement.

Can anything else be negotiated? I guess someone who has experience as a deal-maker knows that to make a deal, you need to have an interlocutor who is interested and ready to negotiate to get to an agreement. And you should ask this question in Tehran right now.

For the moment, this agreement is working, has been implemented, continues to be implemented and I - not only as the High Representative of the European Union, but also as the one who has the responsibility to continue to oversee the implementation of the agreement in place - would expect all to continue to stick to it, as it has been now the case for almost two years.


Q. Mr Trump a eu des mots très durs contre l'Iran tout à l'heure, en disant que c'était un pays qui soutenait le terrorisme, c'est un pays fanatique, une dictature. Pouvez-vous expliquer aux européens pourquoi c'est quand-même bien d'avoir un accord avec ce pays? Et dans le contexte de ce qui se passe avec la Corée du Nord, quelles conséquences peut avoir la décertification de cet accord aujourd'hui?

Premièrement, je voudrais souligner le fait que le discours du Président [des Etats-Unis, Donald] Trump ouvre un processus de politique interne très clair aux Etats-Unis qui commence et dont l'impact devra être - comme je l'ai dit - évalué par la suite.

C'est maintenant au Congrès de décider ou non si la position des Etats-Unis change. Mais, comme je l'ai dit, l'accord n'est pas entre les mains des Etats-Unis.

Sur la qualification de l'Iran, votre question me semble un peu étrange, parce que c'est exactement quand il y a un problème qu'il faut trouver un accord pour le gérer. S'il n'y avait pas de problèmes, on n'aurait pas négocié pendant 12 ans, on n'aurait pas travaillé pendant des mois, des nuits, des semaines. [Ce qui nous a conduit à] terminer les négociations le 14 juillet -le jour de la fête nationale française-,  en détaillant par écrit, de manière extrêmement précise, tous les engagements nucléaires à respecter.

C'est exactement pour cause d’un manque de confiance que l'on a détaillé tellement le contenu de l'accord, et c'est pour cela que l'accord fonctionne. Parce que l'on n'a pas basé cela sur la confiance, qui n'était pas là, mais sur la précision des accords et des engagements mutuels.

Et je voudrais rajouter que c'est justement parce que l'on a négocié pendant 12 ans les détails techniques - et pas seulement techniques - de l'accord, en profondeur, que penser rouvrir ou renégocier une partie ou autre de l'accord signifierait rouvrir complètement l'accord; ce qui voudrait dire que l'accord ne serait pas en place.

Je ne vois pas du tout la possibilité de rouvrir ou négocier une partie ou une autre de l'accord. Il n'y aurait pas l'espace politique, il n'y aurait pas l'intention politique du reste de la communauté internationale de faire cela.