Iran Missile Work No JCPOA Breach

Friday, April 15, 2016

Iran Missile Work No JCPOA Breach

The European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini says Iran’s missile activities are not in contravention of the country’s nuclear agreement with the six world powers.

“We do not see the missile tests as a breach of the JCPOA,” she said on Saturday during a joint press conference with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Tehran.

She was referring to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the nuclear agreement reached between Iran and the P5+1 states -- Russia, China, France, Britain, the US and Germany -- in Vienna last July.

Mogherini, however, said “this doesn’t mean that we are not concerned.”

Zarif, in turn, told the presser that Iran’s missile tests neither breach the JCPOA nor any United Nations Security Council resolutions as the missiles “are not designed to carry nuclear weapons.”

Elsewhere in the press conference, the two sides underscored their determination to promote Iran-EU bilateral relations in various areas, particularly economy, as well as cooperation on other issues of international importance.

Zarif said Mogherini’s trip to Tehran could be a “new beginning” in ties between Tehran and the 28-nation bloc.

“Today is the serious beginning in the relations between Iran and the European Union and we hope that this cooperation leads to common interests, progress and international development for the people of Iran and EU,” Zarif said.

He said economic and financial cooperation as well as the opening of a permanent EU office in Tehran is on the agenda of talks, adding that four statements are to be issued at the end of the discussions.

Referring to last July’s nuclear agreement, Zarif said Tehran and the EU “will cooperate to remove the remaining obstacles in the way of the JCPOA’s implementation.”

“We are certain that the EU’s political and economic interests lie in implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and cooperation with Iran,” the Iranian foreign minister said.

The top EU diplomat, for her part, said her visit to Tehran is focused on a broad spectrum of topics from the expansion of bilateral ties to regional issues.

She further hailed the nuclear deal reached between Iran and the P5+1 states adding that the JCPOA proved “diplomacy works.”

“Iran has delivered on its side of the deal and so has the EU by lifting the sanctions,” the EU official said.

The EU official further said the 28-nation bloc will support the Iranian bid to join the World Trade Organization.

Mogherini has traveled to the Iranian capital on a one-day visit at the head of a high-ranking political and economic delegation comprising seven European commissioners.

Iran, EU joint statement stresses bilateral cooperation

In a statement at the end of their bilateral meeting here on Saturday, the EU High Representative and Vice-President of the European Commission (HRVP) and Zarif highlighted their ultimate commitment to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and said the implementation of the document opened a new chapter in mutual relations.

They also pointed to implementation of the JCPOA, expansion of cooperation to enhance economic development and social welfare, grow peace and stability in the region and peaceful settlement of disputes as their common goals.

The two sides, taking stock of their long standing relations, based upon mutual respect and interests, reiterated their intention to develop a broad and comprehensive agenda for bilateral cooperation.

They welcomed the implementation day of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on 16 January 2016 that contributed to opening a new chapter in EU-Iran relations. The EU and Iran are fully committed to the JCPOA and its implementation in all its aspects. It was reconfirmed that the continued and full implementation of the JCPOA remains of utmost importance.

The two diplomats further agreed on facilitating process of cooperation and stressed the need to take preparatory measures to open EU representative office in Iran based on the rules and regulations of the host country.

It was agreed that an EU team will visit Tehran for this purpose.

The two sides also stressed the need for regular exchange of views and political conversation at the ministerial level in an annual basis.

Apart from Mrs Mogherini, European Commission representatives present included EU Commissioners Elzbieta Bienkowska (Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs), Arias Cañete (Climate Action and Energy), Christos Stylianides (Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management), Violeta Bulc (Transport), Carlos Moedas (Research, Science and Innovation), Karmenu Vella (Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries) and Tibor Navracsics (Education, Culture, Youth and Sport). They met with their Iranian counterparts.

It was stated that following shared and overarching objectives are vital for the promotion of EU-Iran relations:

1- Ensuring and supporting the full implementation of the JCPOA in order to further improve and deepen bilateral cooperation;

2- Developing cooperative relations in areas of mutual interest to benefit the economic development, human rights, prosperity and well-being of the people of Iran and the EU;

3- Promoting regional peace, security and stability as well as peaceful settlement of regional conflicts through dialogue and engagement.

4- Facilitating the programme of cooperation as set out below and with a view to preparing the future opening of an EU Delegation in Tehran, in accordance with rules and regulations of the Islamic Republic of Iran, an EU liaison team will be sent to Tehran. This will contribute to strengthening the relations and implement future cooperation initiatives.

They also stated that the EU and Iran intend to cooperate in the following areas:

- Political Consultations

The two sides intend to enhance their political dialogue through consultations at the level of the HRVP and the Iranian Foreign Minister, annually. This advances the existing agreement to meet regularly for a High Level Dialogue at Deputy Minister/ Political Director level.

Senior officials and experts will meet as required to explore other fields of mutual interest in which bilateral, regional andinternational cooperation projects could be developed.

- Human Rights

The two sides expressed their determination to enhance and promote human rights. In this context, they intend to engage in a human rights dialogue. To this end, they would welcome the exchange of visits of delegations.

- Economic Cooperation

The two sides encourage the expansion of economic relations between EU and Iran, recognizing the importance of macro-economic issues, trade, finance and investment in achieving sustainable growth and development. They intend to engage in a macro-economic and finance dialogue including on the following initiatives:

1- Improve and enable financial as well as encouraging banking cooperation between the EU and Iran. The EU can assist if required in addressing Anti Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) issues;

2- Explore the prospect of extending the third country lending mandate of the European Investment Bank (EIB) to Iran, to enhance the availability of finance for investment in Iran and possible blending (of loans with grants);

3- Cooperation in a variety of sectors with a focus in particular on encouraging regulatory and industrial policy and reinforcing strategy towards durable solutions. Cooperation on civil society building and strengthening of the local authorities is continuing and the two sides intend to increase this cooperation in the future.

*Photo Credit: Mehr News

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