0352 GMT October 22, 2019
During a parliamentary confirmation hearing to become the next EU foreign policy chief, Borrell said Monday that "we have to keep this agreement alive in order to defend our interests, our security and avoid something worse," according to AP.
Borrell, who is currently foreign minister in Spain's caretaker government and set to take over in Brussels from Federica Mogherini on Nov. 1, said "the political unity of the Europeans will be crucial" in keeping the agreement going.
Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – the United States, France, Britain, Russia and China – plus Germany signed the JCPOA on July 14, 2015 and started implementing it on January 16, 2016.
Under the deal, Iran undertook to put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions.
However, the pact has been on life support since US President Donald Trump pulled his country out of the international nuclear deal in May last year and stepped up sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
Since May, Iran has rowed back on its nuclear commitments three times in compliance with articles 26 and 36 of the JCPOA.
Iran says its reciprocal measures will be reversible as soon as Europe finds practical ways to shield the Iranian economy from unilateral US sanctions.
The European signatories to the JCPOA have so far failed to uphold their commitments. They have expressed vocal support for the deal, but failed to provide meaningful economic incentives as required under the nuclear agreement.