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EU, Iranian senior diplomats to discuss nuclear deal in Vienna next week

The EU high representative held two separate meetings with the Iranian foreign minister and with foreign ministers of the E3 group of negotiators on the Iranian nuclear issue (UK, France, Germany)
EU High Representative Federica Mogherini EPA-EFE/Borislav Troshev
EU High Representative Federica Mogherini
© EPA-EFE/Borislav Troshev

BRUSSELS, May 16. /TASS/. Political directors from the European Union and Iran will meet in Vienna next week to discuss measures to support the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on the Iranian nuclear program, the EU top diplomat said on Tuesday.

EU High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini held two separate meetings with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and with foreign ministers of the E3 group of negotiators on the Iranian nuclear issue (UK, France, Germany) on Tuesday. She stressed the "constructive" and "positive" nature of the meetings, which indicated on all sides "the awareness of the urgency of finding solutions, not for the sake of a calendar, but because if we want to save this deal."

"We reaffirmed together our resolve to continue to implement the nuclear deal in all its parts, in good faith, and in a constructive atmosphere, and we agreed to continue to consult intensively at all levels and also with other remaining participants of the Joint Commission to the JCPOA," Mogherini said.

"We will also hold a Joint Commission meeting in Vienna next week at the level of Deputy Foreign Ministers or Political Directors - which is the usual level at which the Joint Commission meets - and obviously in the coming days we will continue to work along these lines following the good exchanges we had today," she went on.

She said she would brief the weekly meeting of the College of the European Commission on Wedneday morning and address European leaders about the results of Tuesday’s talks on Wednesday evening.

"The agreement is complex enough, long enough, detailed enough. It does not need to be changed, modified or have any addition. Everything is already written there," she said. "We simply committed to fully comply with all the commitments taken there, which means for the Iranian side the nuclear-related commitments, and from our side and from the side of the rest of the international community, in particular the commitments related to the economic benefits the Iranian people need to see as an outcome of their own implementation of the Iran deal."

"So, we are not talking about annexes or modifications of the agreement at all; we are talking about setting up concrete measures, concrete practical solutions to address these issues, which could take different forms depending on the different issues covered - but something very concrete, very practical and hopefully very operational and very quickly," the EU top diplomat went on.

She also expressed hope that preserving the nuclear deal may pave the way for solving other issues, including Tehran’s missile program.

"With the nuclear deal in place we have a better chance to address any other issue we have to address with Iran, be it missiles, be it regional issues," she said.

EU and Iran agreed to hold intense expert consultations in coming days with an aim to boost economic, trade and investment cooperation, the EU foreign policy chief added.

"We, together, regretted the withdrawal of the United States from the Iran nuclear deal and we recognised that the lifting of nuclear-related sanctions and the normalisation of trade and economic relations with Iran constitute essential parts of the agreement," Mogherini told reporters. 

"We stressed the commitment we all share to ensure that this will continue to be delivered and we agreed to this end to deepen our dialogue at all levels," she continued. "We undertook, in particular, to launch intensive expert discussions <…> with Iran, addressing the following issues with a view to arriving at practical solutions in the next few weeks."

According to the EU foreign policy chief, those issues include "maintaining and deepening economic relations," "the continued sale of Iran's oil and gas condensate petroleum products and petrochemicals and related transfers," "effective banking transactions," "continued sea, land, air and rail transportation relations" and "further investments in Iran."