EU’s top diplomat schedules US trip to discuss Iran deal

Press TV – The European Union (EU)’s foreign policy chief is scheduled to travel to Washington to hold talks with US officials about the implementation of a 2015 multilateral deal with Iran, among other issues.

The website of the European External Action Service (EEAS), the EU’s diplomatic service, reported on Friday that Federica Mogherini’s visit to Washington was slated for November 6 and 7.

She is expected to meet with US Vice President Mike Pence as well as with a number of senior members of the Senate and the House of Representatives, including the latter’s Speaker Paul Ryan.

Mogherini is also set to address the House of Representatives’ Republican Conference.

The EU’s top diplomat will discuss bilateral ties between the EU and the US as well as the latest developments on a number of foreign policy issues, including the situation on the Korean Peninsula and the implementation of the Iran deal, officially titled the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Iran’s partners under the deal are Russia, China, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and the US.

Washington, under President Donald Trump, has at various times attempted to either scrap the deal or open renegotiations to change its terms. Those attempts have faced stiff opposition from all sides to the deal, including Europe, and most assertively by Mogherini.

On October 13, Trump, who took office one year after the JCPOA had come into force, refused to formally certify that the Islamic Republic was complying with the accord under a domestic US law and warned that he might ultimately “terminate” it.

Trump also said he was directing his administration “to work closely with Congress and our allies to address the deal’s many serious flaws.”

The US Congress now has until mid-December to decide whether to re-impose the economic sanctions on Tehran that were lifted under the agreement.

Shortly Trump announced his decision on the Iran deal, Mogherini said it was “clearly not in the hands of any president of any country in the world to terminate an agreement of this sort.”

High Representative Mogherini has been very outspoken in her support of the deal. The EU coordinated the negotiations that lasted some 22 months and that culminated in the deal.

Soon after Trump kicked the decision on the Iran deal to the US Congress, Mogherini planned her trip to Washington to discuss the JCPOA, including to lobby with the members of Congress not to undermine the deal. On October 16, she said she would “be in Washington in early November” to urge US lawmakers not to pull out of the deal or undermine it.

Any re-imposition of nuclear-related sanctions on Iran would be a US breach of the deal and would complicate European business with the Islamic Republic.