JCPOA Is Working, Must Be Preserved: EU's Mogherini
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The European Union's diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini Thursday insisted the Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) "is working", adding that it is vital to preserve the agreement.
"The deal is working, it is delivering on its main goal which means keeping the Iranian nuclear program in check and under close surveillance," Mogherini said after talks in Brussels with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his British, French and German counterparts.
It comes as senior officials told AFP they "expect" US President Donald Trump to extend waivers on sanctions against Iran on Friday to keep the US in line with the 2015 deal, which Trump has repeatedly lambasted.
The European Union and Britain, Germany and France - which all played a key role in the hard-fought accord - once again closed ranks to back the deal.
Mogherini said it was vital to preserve an agreement that is "making the world safer and that is preventing a potential nuclear arms race in the region."
While hawks in Washington have called for the agreement to be scrapped, British foreign minister Boris Johnson said that so far no-one has come up with a better alternative.
"We greatly value the JCPOA, the nuclear deal with Iran, we think it is a considerable diplomatic accomplishment,” Johnson said, stressing that "Iran is in compliance with this agreement according to the International Atomic Energy Agency."
German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said Europe wanted to protect the deal "against every possible undermining decision".
"We know that it's absolutely necessary to have the signal that it's possible by diplomatic approaches to prevent the development of nuclear weapons, in a time when other parts of the world are discussing how to get nuclear weapons into force," Gabriel said.
"It would send a very dangerous signal to the rest of the world if the only agreement that prevents the proliferation of nuclear weapons would be negatively affected."
Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France, and Germany) reached a conclusion over the text of the JCPOA in July 2015 and implemented it in January 2016.
Under the agreement, certain limits have been put on Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for, among other things, the removal of all nuclear-related bans against Tehran.
In all of its reports since coming into force of the JCPOA, the IAEA has verified the non-diversion of declared nuclear material in Iran as well as the Islamic Republic’s commitment to the nuclear deal.