EU to step up diplomatic dialogue with Iran to save nuclear deal

Tasnim – The European Union considers a diplomatic dialogue with Iran to avoid any further escalation in the region as well as implementing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), known as the Iran nuclear deal.

According to Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynder, the EU will do it as a priority step in securing freedom of navigation in the Strait of Hormuz to avoid any further escalation in the region and to implement the Iran nuclear deal, Sputnik reports.

“We are very concerned about issues of maritime security and freedom of navigation, which should be ensured, but, as you know, we are trying to support the implementation of the JCPOA, so we are trying to avoid any escalation in the region. We will continue to look at how to guarantee freedom of navigation in the region, but also continue to work with Iran for the correct implementation of the nuclear deal,” the minister told reporters on the sidelines of the informal meeting of EU foreign ministers, known as Gymnich, in Helsinki.

While answering the question about the possibility of establishing the EU observation mission in the region, Reynders noted that the “diplomatic discussion with Iran is currently the most important element”.

Germany’s foreign minister also said Friday after talks with Britain and France that European countries will step up diplomatic efforts to save Iran nuclear deal.

The foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany — the three European parties to the deal — were joined by EU diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini for talks on the sidelines of an EU meeting in Helsinki.

Germany”s Heiko Maas said the trio wanted to build on momentum from last weekend”s G7 summit, where Trump indicated willingness to talk to Iran.

“Our priority is to open the dialogue window between the US and Iran,” Maas told reporters.

“Especially after the G7 summit in Biarritz we are all of the opinion that the momentum that perhaps exists, the readiness for dialogue on both sides… must now be used.” Mogherini said Thursday the EU would support such a move — provided the current deal was preserved.

Mogherini also said that the EU will continue working to preserve world powers’ 2015 nuclear deal with Iran but would welcome any progress beyond it.

“My role…is to preserve the full implementation of the existing agreements. Again if something else can be built on it, this would be welcomed and accompanied by the European Union,” Mogherini told reporters during a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Helsinki.

The Europeans have repeatedly said they are committed to saving the deal, but efforts to shield Iran’s economy from the reimposition of US sanctions have so far borne little fruit.

The Iran nuclear deal has been jeopardized by US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from it last May. The United States also reimposed sanctions on Iran. In response to the US pulling out of the deal and reimposing sanctions, Tehran has reduced certain amount of its commitments under the deal, but the EU says it has so far not taken any irreversible steps.