Sat May 6, 2017 5:2AM
The European Union (EU)’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini (photo by AFP)
The European Union (EU)’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini (photo by AFP)

The European Union (EU)’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, says scrapping a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran would be in the interest of no one, something she says the United States must have come to understand by now.

“I believe the new US administration must have understood that it would be in the interest of no one in the region to take a course [on Iran’s nuclear program] different from the JCPOA,” Mogherini said Friday, referring to the Iran deal by its acronym.

The administration of US President Donald Trump, which took over in January this year, has been skeptical of the deal, which was negotiated under the former US administration.

Trump’s Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in an April 18 letter to the US Congress verified continued Iranian compliance with the deal but said the administration would be conducting a review to determine whether providing sanctions relief for Iran — which is a US commitment under the deal — would be in the US’s “national interest.”

Mogherini expressed the 28-member EU’s resolve to preserve the nuclear accord, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or the JCPOA.

“The Europeans are working firmly to keep the deal in place,” she said

Aside from Iran and the US, the parties to the deal are Britain, France, China, Russia, and Germany. The seven countries negotiated together to resolve a long-running dispute over the Iranian nuclear program and reached the JCPOA in July 2015. The EU coordinated the negotiations that led to the deal, and the sides started implementing it in January 2016, a year before the Trump administration took office.

The EU’s High Representative Federica Mogherini and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif announce the JCPOA’s Implementation Day, in Vienna, January 16, 2016. (Photo by AP)

Mogherini, who as the EU’s High Representative actively participated in the negotiations, also said in her Friday remarks that the deal was working.

“What I’m seeing is the deal is working. It is making the world... much safer,” she said.

Under the agreement, limits were put on Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for, among other things, the termination of all nuclear-related sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic. The UN Security Council later unanimously endorsed a resolution that effectively turned the JCPOA into international law.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has on multiple occasions verified Iran’s adherence to its commitments under the multilateral deal.

Germany says fully supports JCPOA

In a related development on Saturday, German Deputy Foreign Minister Markus Ederer said his country “fully supports the JCPOA and its implementation in all fields.”

Ederer made the remarks after a meeting with Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior adviser to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei on international affairs, in Tehran.