European foreign ministers to hold summit with Iranian leaders

Iran and other signatories to the JCPOA say they will remain committed to the nuclear deal, despite US withdrawal.

    Germany's Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said the Iran nuclear deal has made the world safer [Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters]
    Germany's Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said the Iran nuclear deal has made the world safer [Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters]

    Foreign ministers of three of the European countries involved in the Iran nuclear deal will hold a meeting with Iranian representatives to discuss the future of the agreement.

    "We will meet with my British and German colleagues on Monday, and also with representatives of Iran, to consider the entire situation," French Foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said in an interview with French radio.

    The announcement of the summit comes after US President Donald Trump announced on Tuesday that the US would withdraw from the accord.

    After Trump's decision, the leaders of France, Germany and the UK all said they want to continue the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), even without US involvement. 

    Le Drian said in the interview: "the deal is not dead", and that French President Emmanuel Macron would reach out to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to discuss the future of the JCPOA. 

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    Germany has reiterated that it wants to uphold the deal. Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said "the deal makes the world safer", adding that Germany could find no legitimate reason for pulling out of the deal.

    On Twitter, UK Foreign Minister Boris Johnson said he regretted the US no longer taking part in the nuclear deal.

    "UK remains strongly committed to the JCPoA, and will work with E3 partners and the other parties to the deal to maintain it," he added. 

    Federica Mogherini, the European Union's top diplomat, called on the international community to preserve the deal.

    "The EU will remain committed to the continued full and effective implementation of the nuclear deal," Mogherini said from Brussels.

    Iran has said it also remains committed to the deal. 

    In a response, President Rouhani said: "If we achieve the deal's goals in cooperation with other members of the deal, it will remain in place.

    On Tuesday, Trump announced the US would withdraw from the JCPOA and reinstate sanctions against Iran. 

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    The deal was signed in 2015 by Iran and the P5+1 countries, China, France, Russia, the UK, the US and Germany.

    The agreement lifted sanctions on Iran in return for a promise to suspend its nuclear weapons programme and undergo stringent monitoring and inspections of its remaining nuclear facilities and capabilities.

    The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which has carried out the inspections since the deal was signed, has found no evidence Iran was violating its side of the deal.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera News


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