1238 GMT February 17, 2019
In a Thursday meeting with the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), Secretary General of European External Action Service (EEAS) Helga Schmid pointed to a new initiative for trade negotiations between small and medium-sized companies from Iran and the EU, saying 100 firms will soon launch business talks with Iran.
Schmid assured Iran of efforts to save the 2015 nuclear deal and secure Tehran’s economic benefits under the agreement, Tasnim News Agency reported.
She indicated that an appropriate framework for cooperation with Iran would be set with direct support and contribution of the EU, APP reported.
Since more than 60 percent of European industries are categorized at that level, the upcoming trade negotiations are expected to provide a proper framework for direct cooperation between Iran and the EU, Schmid added.
The AEOI chief, Ali Akbar Salehi, called for genuine and practical measures from the European parties to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) for saving the nuclear deal.
Salehi stressed that Iran does not accept remaining in the JCPOA and suffering from sanctions at the same time.
Reiterating the need for the removal of sanctions on Iran under the JCPOA, he said it would be impossible to honor the nuclear deal commitments while sanctions are still in place.
On May 8, US President Donald Trump pulled his country out of the JCPOA, which was achieved in Vienna in 2015 after years of negotiations among Iran and the Group 5+1 – Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany.
Talks with Omani foreign minister
Salehi also held talks with Oman’s Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi on Thursday, on the sidelines of the Oslo Forum in Norway.
Thursday’s talks in Oslo with the Omani foreign minister focused on the latest developments surrounding Iran’s nuclear deal and various regional issues.
The head of AEOI was in Norway to take part in the Oslo Forum and hold bilateral talks with senior officials from the participating countries on the expansion of bilateral ties and preservation of the JCPOA.
In his trip to Oslo, the Iranian nuclear chief has held meetings with top officials from Norway, the EU and the UN.