0926 GMT January 21, 2019
David McAllister, who heads the European Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee, made the remarks in a meeting with Chairman of the Iranian Parliament’s Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy Alaeddin Boroujerdi in Brussels on Wednesday, Press TV reported.
The MEP further described the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) as a “credible international agreement,” noting that the European Union should enhance its relations with Tehran within the framework of the pact.
McAllister also said he is set to pay a visit to Tehran in the near future for talks with Iranian officials as the European Union attaches special significant to cooperation with the Islamic Republic.
The comments came amid US President Donald Trump’s attempts to weaken the agreement. Earlier this month, he extended waivers of economic sanctions on Iran for another 120 days but said he was doing so “for the last time.”
Although the US president declined to withdraw from the Iran deal — which he has long railed against and formerly promised to “rip up” — he gave a four-month deadline to the US Congress and America’s main European allies to address what he called the “disastrous flaws” of the deal.
The agreement, reached between Iran and the P5+1 countries – the US, the UK, France, China, Russia and Germany – puts limitations on parts of Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for removing all nuclear-related sanctions.
A decision to re-impose sanctions would have effectively ended the Iran nuclear agreement.
Boroujerdi, for his part, expressed Iran’s preparedness to take further steps towards the promotion of its relations with the EU, adding, “The time has come for the EU to make decisions based on its own interests apart from the US, and that the EU’s repeated opposition to Trump’s anti-JCPOA policies are good signs indicating the adoption of such an approach.”
Touching on Washington’s arguments that Iran’s national missile program must be included in the JCPOA, Boroujerdi said, “The Islamic Republic of Iran fiercely opposes weapons of mass destruction, particularly nuclear weapons.”
Iran’s missile capabilities are “non-negotiable” since the country views its defense might as “the only way to achieve the strategic policy of deterrence against possible enemy aggression,” he added.
The Iranian lawmaker pointed to anti-terrorism campaign as Iran’s common area of cooperation with many European countries.
The two sides also discussed the latest developments in West Asia and channels of promotion of Iran-EU relations.