European Union External Action

Iran deal: EU united on keeping Iran nuclear deal in place for European security

29/05/2018 - 08:55
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The EU 28 Ministers expressed full unity on keeping the Iran nuclear deal in place as long as Iran stays committed to it, said High Representative Federica Mogherini following the Foreign Affairs Council where ideas and concrete measures have been discussed.

iran, foreign affairs council

The High Representative announced that the EU and Member States are coordinating measures and mechanisms to protect the economic investments of European businesses that have legitimately invested and engaged in Iran. 

"For us this is not about an economic interest, this is about a security interest for the European Union - because in the absence of the nuclear deal with Iran, we believe the security of the region and of Europe would be at stake," Mogherini said stressing the EU unity on the issue.

To complement the steps already taken by the European Union on the blocking statute, member states put on the table a number of contributions and Ministers decided to create a network of contact points that will coordinate all the European measures. 

"We intend and we want to act as fast as possible, not only because we know that the pressure in Iran is significant, but also because we understand that European investors need certainty, so we have an interest in working fast," the High Representative said reminding everyone, however, of the complexities of the situation and that she expects advancements in the next few weeks. 

"The important thing is that things are moving, in the right direction, and in full unity with a lot of political determination to make them advance," Mogherini remarked.

The EU 28 share some of the same concerns expressed by the US administration such as the ballistic missile program or the regional dynamics. Exactly for this reason, they are united in the efforts to keep the nuclear deal in place, Mogherini said.

"The agreement on some of the concerns of US administration is shared, but we have a different answer on what is the best strategy to meet these concerns and find a positive answer to that," the High Representative said.

The EU believes that preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon is its main concern and for this the JCPOA is key.  The International Atomic Energy Agency last week certified for the 11th time that Iran is fully compliant with the deal. 

The other issues can be discussed in separate fora.

"There are a number of sanctions that are still in place from the European Union side, including some human rights-related sanctions. But we believe that engagement and dialogue is more productive than interrupting dialogue and going for confrontation. Normally it brings more results and we are committed to continue this way," Mogherini said. 

The EU 28 also expressed unity on the situation in Gaza, agreeing to act immediately in coordination with regional partners to avoid further losses of lives and guarantee that humanitarian access to Gaza is created. 

The political horizon was also discussed, with the Ministers confirming full unity in the European Unions's support for a negotiated two-state solution and the intention to continue to work closely with other partners. 

"We are still all committed, all the 28, to consider Jerusalem as the future capital of the two states," the High Representative said.