There is no alternative to Iran nuclear deal: EU foreign policy chief
The European Union’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell says there is no alternative to the 2015 nuclear deal, which was unilaterally abandoned by the United States three years after its conclusion.
“I still believe that when it comes to nuclear non-proliferation, there is no alternative to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Those who think otherwise simply fool themselves,” Borrell said in a blog post on Friday. He said he would “continue working towards restoring the JCPOA based on the results of the Vienna negotiations.”
The top EU diplomat said he held “long” talks with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian on the sidelines of the Baghdad Conference ll in the Jordanian capital of Amman on Tuesday. “I also stressed that bringing the JCPOA back to life does not happen in a strategic vacuum. It is part, a key part, of a broader picture.”
In the Tuesday meeting, Borrell told the Iranian foreign minister the JCPOA and relevant negotiations were separate from other issues on the agenda of both sides.
Borrell also underlined the bloc’s resolve to advance the Vienna talks and bring them to a conclusion.
The talks to salvage the JCPOA kicked off in the Austrian capital of Vienna in April 2021, with the intention of examining Washington’s seriousness in rejoining the deal and removing anti-Iran sanctions. The negotiations have been at a standstill since August due to Washington’s insistence on its hard-nosed position of not removing all the sanctions that were slapped on the Islamic Republic by the previous US administration. Iran maintains it is necessary for the other side to offer some guarantees that it will remain committed to any agreement that is reached.
Elsewhere in his post, Borrell claimed that Iran supports the “illegal war of aggression against Ukraine” by delivering drones and improving military cooperation with Russia, urging Tehran to “immediately stop its military support” for Moscow. The top EU diplomat also claimed that Iran is making a “huge strategic mistake” and is choosing the “wrong path and is destroying its credibility when it pretends not to take sides in that war.”
He said the Iranian foreign minister “forcefully” denied Tehran is providing drones to Russia and said such deliveries had only happened before the war in Ukraine.
“In that regard, I urged the Foreign Minister [Amir-Abdollahian] to continue the direct conversation with his Ukrainian counterpart on the transfer of military equipment to Russia,” Borrell said.
Iran and Russia have repeatedly denied claims that Tehran has provided Moscow with drones to be used in the Ukraine war.
The anti-Iran claims first emerged in July, with US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan alleging that Washington had received “information” indicating that the Islamic Republic was preparing to provide Russia with “up to several hundred drones, including weapons-capable UAVs on an expedited timeline” for use in the war.
Such claims are made against Iran under the circumstances that billions of dollars of different types of weapons from Western countries have been sent to Ukraine to prolong the war, the top Iranian diplomat said.