EU foreign ministers weigh JCPOA survival without US

IRNA – Ireland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Simon Coveney said that EU is strongly keen on preserving Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA), as European foreign ministers discussed preservation of the deal in the absence of the US, in Vienna on Monday.

He further noted that no decision on slapping new sanctions on Iran was made in Monday’s session in Vienna.

On the sidelines of EU Foreign Affairs Council session in Luxemburg, he said in response to a question on EU’s stance on the JCPOA and rumors about stepping up sanctions against Iran, that during the session the German, French and British foreign ministers were asked about their talks with US officials.

What is important is to distinguish these two issues; one is Iran nuclear deal which has been successful in terms of nuclear verification and the other is concerns about Iran’s missile program and its regional influence, which is quite distinct from the nuclear deal, he said.

In Washington, the two issues have been turned into a single one but they are two separate topics in the eyes of EU, he said, noting that EU is sternly keen on keeping the deal and its big concern is that the US may quit the deal before May 12 or after that.

The participants in the meeting agreed that the EU should act unanimously and they made no decision about imposing new sanctions against Iran, the Irish minister said.

With just weeks remaining to the deadline set by President Donald Trump to fix alleged flaws of the JCPOA and sanctions waivers on May 12, European talks with the US have entered a sensitive stage.

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