Europe's new foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell says if the Europe wants to save the 2015 nuclear agreement, it needs to ensure that Iran benefits from the deal.
“If we want the Iran nuclear deal to survive, we need to ensure that Iran benefits if it returns to full compliance,” Borrell said.
The top EU diplomat made the comments in an article published by the Project Syndicate website on Saturday.
Borrell’s comments came after the European official made an official visit to Tehran last Monday and had meetings with the Iranian officials including President Hassan Rouhani, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, and Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani.
In his meeting with the Iranian president, the EU's top diplomat admitted that the European sides have failed to live up to their obligations to the nuclear deal, calling for more efforts to remove obstacles in the way of the deal’s implementation, Press TV reported.
Borrell vowed to make his utmost efforts to develop strong interaction with Iran in order to preserve the deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
In the meeting, President Rouhani criticized the signatories to the nuclear deal for failing to fulfill their obligations after the United States’ unilateral withdrawal from the agreement.
"The Islamic Republic of Iran is still ready for interaction and cooperation with the European Union to resolve issues, and any time the opposite side completely upholds its commitments, Iran will also return to its commitments," Rouhani said.
Pointing to 12 years of efforts and measures, which finally led to the conclusion of the JCPOA, the Iranian president expressed regret that the US unilateral pullout from the deal has created numerous obstacles and problems for other sides in the way of their full implementation of the accord.
Commenting on Iran’s suspension of its JCPOA obligations, he emphasized that the country’s rollback of its commitments falls within the framework of the nuclear accord aimed at preserving it.
US President Donald Trump, a stern critic of the landmark deal, unilaterally pulled Washington out of the JCPOA in May 2018, and unleashed the “toughest ever” sanctions against the Islamic Republic in defiance of global criticism in an attempt to strangle the Iranian oil trade.
In response to the US move, Tehran has so far rowed back on its nuclear commitments five times in compliance with articles 26 and 36 of the JCPOA, but stressed that its retaliatory measures will be reversible as soon as Europe finds practical ways to shield the mutual trade from the US sanctions.