The sun doesn’t set on Iran deal, EU’s Mogherini tells the US

The EU’s top diplomat said members of Congress indicated they want to comply with the agreement that Trump threatened to blow up last month. And she warned about rising tensions in the Middle East.

Pubblicato il 11/11/2017

Renegotiating the Iran nuclear deal «is not an option». European Union’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini sent a clear message to the United States as Congress works to define conditions that could ultimately derail the international agreement opposed by President Donald Trump. 

«Twelve years of negotiations resulting in 104 pages of extremely detailed provisions that were not based on confidence and trust but on commitments and an intrusive monitoring system cannot be reopened in one line, or one paragraph, or one chapter» Mogherini told reporters at the EU delegation headquarters after a series of meetings in Congress. «If you reopen one part of it, the entire agreement is reopened,» she said. 


Mogherini, who also chairs the Joint Commission overseeing the implementation of the agreement, said she was hopeful after receiving reassurance from US legislators that they intend to comply with the action plan signed by former president Barack Obama.  

«It’s a delicate moment. Work is ongoing. I made clear the EU position, the framework of the agreement, and I got clear indications that the intention is to keep the US compliant with the agreement in coordination with the EU and the rest of the international community,» Mogherini said. «It’s a starting point for a common work,» she added. 

Trump almost scrapped the agreement in October, when he refused to ratify Tehran’s compliance with the deal, designed to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. In response to Iran’s implementation of nuclear measures verified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the US and the EU have lifted sanctions on Iran. 


Trump, who during his presidential campaign promised to scrap the deal, has left Congress to define what conditions would automatically trigger new sanctions on Iran and eventually end the current accord, which took more than 12 years of negotiations and was signed in 2015 by the EU and the P5+1 (China, France, Germany, Russia, the UK and the United States). 


Mogherini said the EU has no intention to interfere with the ongoing political debate between the Trump administration and Congress. «We stay out of this. But if there is a way we can accompany this internal debate by providing advice on what could be compliant or not when it comes to the implementation, we would be happy to do so because our interest is to guarantee the full implementation of the agreement by all» she explained. 


Mogherini also said that there’s no sunset clause on the deal, since Iran’s commitment to never develop a nuclear weapon and some other measures concerning the IAEA’s work are permanent.  

«The sun doesn’t set when it comes to nuclear commitments» she said. 

The top diplomat also clarified EU’s interests in this process, saying that the bloc’s concerns are about security while trade is not relevant, considering that Iran only accounts for 4% of the EU’s global exports. 


The EU’s High Representative also warned about rising tensions in the Middle East. She declined to comment the news that Saudi Arabia has accused Iran of «direct military aggression» and of supplying rebels in Yemen who fired a ballistic missile towards the Riyadh airport on Saturday. 

«We see the need, especially when tension goes high as it is the case in the Gulf, to have rationality prevail on all sides» she said.  

«I know this is not the wind that is blowing as the majority voice in the world of today but allow me to bring a little bit of wisdom as the European voice in a world that seems to go completely crazy. It’s dangerous. We need to calm down the situation». 



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