Senior EU diplomat expresses support for JCPOA

Tasnim – The EU’s second most senior diplomat affirmed the bloc’s support for the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers, including via the use of a new payment system for trade designed to circumvent US sanctions.

Helga Schmid, the secretary general of European Union external action service who visited Tehran last week, had helped negotiate the deal in 2015.

The European Union’s foreign service said that, in Tehran, Schmid had reiterated the bloc’s commitment to the deal, which has been “delivering on its primary goal … to ensure that Iran does not acquire material or equipment to develop a nuclear weapon.”

She had also discussed “EU efforts … to enable the continuation of legitimate trade with Iran,” including working to put into operation the INSTEX payment channel set up by France, Britain and Germany to facilitate non-dollar trade.

INSTEX is planned to be based in Paris and be managed by a German banking expert. Britain will head the supervisory board.

The European countries are reportedly going to use the channel initially only to sell food, medicine and medical devices in Iran.

In May 2018, the US president pulled his country out of the JCPOA, the nuclear deal that was achieved in Vienna in 2015 after years of negotiations among Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany).

Following the US exit, Iran and the remaining parties launched talks to save the accord.

The European parties to the JCPOA have so far failed to do anything to preserve the nuclear deal beyond making statements.