News ID: 240189
Published: 0420 GMT March 13, 2019

Mogherini champions multilateralism at UN, defends Iran deal

Mogherini champions multilateralism at UN, defends Iran deal
EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini addresses a meeting held by the UN Security Council at the UN headquarters in New York, the US, on March 12, 2019.

The European Union's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini on Tuesday championed multilateralism at the United Nations and defended the EU's position to preserve the Iran nuclear deal.

"The European Union and the United Nations were born out of the same founding idea after the two world wars: The idea that in order to avoid yet another catastrophe, we need to have a multilateral mechanism, a mechanism to work toward win-win solutions as the only alternative to a new continental and world war," Mogherini told the Security Council in a debate on UN-EU cooperation, Xinhua reported.

"This idea is still valid. And over the decades, our elective affinity has grown even stronger. There is a 'European way' to peace and security, and it is identical to the 'UN way' to peace and security."

She said that it is a way that rests on mediation, peacekeeping operations, sustainable development, protection of human rights, humanitarian assistance and respect for shared rules.

"Our support for the UN and for multilateralism is a choice based on our values. At the same time, it is a pragmatic choice. A decision taken in a multilateral context is by definition more democratic and more inclusive, and therefore more robust and more sustainable over time.

"You will never hear the European Union questions whether the UN serves our interests and values, because we know that it serves universal interests and values. And we know that this is a precondition for building sustainable peace and security, which is in our own ultimate interests, always," said Mogherini.

She defended the July 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and the six world powers of Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States, citing the need for "a solid multilateral architecture for non-proliferation and disarmament."

Under the deal, Iran agreed to limit its nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of sanctions. The United States unilaterally withdrew from the deal in May 2018 and later reinstated sanctions against Iran. Other signatories to the deal have been trying to salvage the pact, but US sanctions have largely scared off European companies from doing business with Iran.

"Our collective security requires a solid multilateral architecture for non-proliferation and disarmament. This is why the European Union will continue to work to preserve the nuclear deal with Iran," said Mogherini.

"The global architecture for disarmament and non-proliferation is being questioned like never before. And to me, this is one of the greatest paradoxes of our times," said Mogherini. "A new arms race – and a nuclear arms race in particular – can only make the world less secure."

Iran's implementation of its nuclear-related commitments has been confirmed in 14 consecutive reports of the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the latest verification being just a couple of weeks ago, she said.

"Alongside Iran's implementation, the lifting of nuclear-related sanctions is an essential part of the deal. So we will continue to work to preserve the economic dividends of sanctions lifting."

The Europeans have promised to help firms do business with Iran as long as it abides by the deal. Iran has itself threatened to pull out of the agreement unless EU powers demonstrably protect its economic benefits.



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