0137 GMT March 20, 2018
Mogherini said Tuesday after a meeting with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that the EU attaches great importance on upholding the agreement, adding that scrapping the deal "would not put us in a better position to discuss all the rest, on the contrary," AP reported.
The EU’s top diplomat called the implementation of the agreement a "key strategic priority for European security" urging the United States to stay in the accord while noting that other issues with Tehran should be addressed otherwise.
"I have reaffirmed the European Union view that continued implementation of the Iran nuclear deal is a key strategic priority for European security but also for regional and global security," Mogherini said.
Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – the United States, France, Britain, Russia and China – plus Germany signed the nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), on July 14, 2015 and started implementing it on January 16, 2016.
Under the JCPOA, Iran undertook to put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of all nuclear-related sanctions imposed against Tehran.
US President Donald Trump delivered an anti-Iran speech on October 13, in which he said he would not continue to certify Iran’s compliance with the terms of the JCPOA, reached under his predecessor Barack Obama, and warned that he might ultimately terminate the agreement.
So far, the Europeans have stood by the accord which they have described as a triumph for diplomacy and a contributor to regional and international security.
Tillerson accused Iran of “carrying out a number of other destabilizing activities throughout the region”, saying that US intends to “continue to take action” and “look forward to working with European partners as well”.
“These issues and activities of Iran cannot be ignored and cannot go unanswered, and we intend to continue to take action to ensure Iran understands this is not acceptable to us, and we look forward to working with European partners in that regard as well,” he said.
US “strategic blunders”
Iran on Wednesday rejected Tillerson’s claims as unfounded, saying such fabrications cannot help undo Washington’s “strategic blunders” in the region.
Reacting to the allegations, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said that“repeating baseless and false allegations would not help make up for the strategic and big mistakes made by the US vis-à-vis Iran and the region over the past decades,” Press TV wrote.
“Leveling accusations against other countries would be no cure for the pains as well as deep and old scars left from America’s aggressive policies and excessive demands in the region,” he added.
Qassemi also advised Tillerson to develop a better understanding of the realities on the ground and the region’s history as well as the negative impact of US policies there before expressing his views and making judgements.
Iran, which has itself been a victim of US “interventionist policies,” is viewed as a country operating on the frontline of the fight against terrorism in the region and the world, he pointed out.
Qassemi also slammed the US for turning a blind eye to Iran’s counter-terrorism efforts, and said leveling false allegations against the country emanate from Washington’s anger over the Islamic Republic’s relentless struggles to eliminate terror and restore stability to the region.
The Iranian official stressed that Tehran would keep up its contribution to regional peace and its fight against terror within international norms.