European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini says the 28-nation bloc will continue working to preserve a nuclear deal signed between Iran and world powers in 2015 but will welcome any progress beyond it.
Speaking to reporters during a meeting of EU foreign ministers in the Finnish capital of Helsinki on Friday, Mogherini added that she is playing a role to “preserve the full implementation of the existing agreements,” including the historic nuclear accord, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
“Again if something else can be built on it [JCPOA], this would be welcomed and accompanied by the European Union,” the EU foreign policy chief said.
The multilateral nuclear deal has been in jeopardy since US President Donald Trump pulled his country out of the JCPOA in May last year and stepped up sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
Under the deal, signed between Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – the United States, France, Britain, Russia and China – plus Germany, Tehran undertook to put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions.
Mogherini also said that the existing nuclear deal must not be sacrificed as part of any measure taken by Washington to forge a new security agreement with Tehran.
Tensions between Iran and the US increased after Washington’s unilateral withdrawal from the multilateral deal. Trump has since been following what he calls a campaign of “maximum pressure” on the Islamic Republic.
Speaking to Malaysia’s official news agency Bernama, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the country will not renegotiate the nuclear deal but is open to talks on finding ways to implement the existing accord.
Iran’s foreign minister has ruled out the possibility of renegotiating the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.
The top Iranian diplomat’s remarks came after Mogherini said on Thursday that the EU welcomes any talks between Iran and the US, emphasizing, however, that the 2015 nuclear deal enshrined in a United Nations Security Council resolution should be preserved.