Zarif meets top European officials on JCPOA in Brussels

January 12, The Iran Project – After a short visit to Moscow, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif arrived in Brussels on Thursday (Jan.11) for talks over the landmark nuclear deal reached between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries in 2015.

While in Brussels, Zarif held talks with several of his counterparts in the meeting which was attended by European Union’s diplomatic chief, Federica Mogherini and ministers of foreign affairs of E3 countries, France, Jean-Yves Le Drian, Germany, Sigmar Gabriel, and the UK Boris Johnson.

Zarif also met with Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Didier Reynders at noon on Thursday, during which the two sides discussed bilateral relations, the ways to expand avenues of cooperation, and other issues of mutual interests.

The European officials who attended the meeting also underlined support for preserving the Iran nuclear deal.

Mogherini insisted that the Iran nuclear deal “is working” and 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.

UK’s Johnson stated 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’s Gabriel said Europe wanted to protect the deal “against every possible undermining decision”.

During his negotiations with Le Drian, Zarif urged all parties in the deal to fulfill their commitments, and called on the European countries to play more active role to this end.

Besides, the French foreign minister, for his part, stressed the necessity of implementation of the July 2015 deal.

He further noted that Paris is determined to implement the landmark nuclear deal between Iran and the world powers.

Johnson wrote on his twitter page after a meeting with Zarif, and his French and German counterparts on Thursday that European signatories to the nuclear deal with Iran have been ‘unanimous’ in supporting the deal.

“The Iran nuclear deal makes the world safer,” Johnson wrote.

Meanwhile, Zarif, wrote on his twitter page that “Strong consensus in Brussels” was achieved on the implementation of the nuclear deal.

“Iran is complying with the JCPOA. The Iranian people have every right to all its dividends. Any move that undermines the JCPOA is unacceptable,” Zarif said in the tweet.

He also said that E3 and EU are fully aware that Iran’s continued compliance depends on full compliance by the US.

Mr. Zarif returned home after a two-day visit to Moscow and Brussels on Thursday evening.