European Union’s Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini has spoken forcefully in favor of the Iran nuclear deal.
She said that despite protests from Washington, there are no reasons for re-negotiation of the deal.
Iran’s current nuclear program involves several research sites, two uranium mines, a research reactor, and uranium processing facilities. The country ratified the Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1970. Thus, its nuclear program has to be subject to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) verification.
On 2 April 2015, the P5+1 and Iran reached a provisional agreement that sought to lift most of the sanctions in exchange for limits on Iran's nuclear programs extending for at least ten years. When the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) certified that Iran had restricted its sensitive nuclear activities, the UN sanctions were lifted on January 16, 2016.
In particular, EU has been positive towards the nuclear deal. Iran has the fourth largest oil reserves and second largest natural gas reserves. Prior to 2012, when the EU imposed an oil embargo on the region, Iran was the seventh largest provider of oil to the EU.
US President Donald Trump has been critical of the nuclear deal and has threatened to back away from it multiple times. In July 2017, EU’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said that the EU has a responsibility to ensure the deal is implemented. She said, “The nuclear deal doesn’t belong to one country, it belongs to the international community. We have the responsibility to make sure that this continues to be implemented.”
French President Macron has also been in favor of the deal and has urged all parties not to nullify it at any cost. Additionally, the IAEA has stated that Iran has not broken the terms of the agreement. However, top US diplomats have continued to raise doubts over the deal’s future. Recently, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that despite the fact Iran was complying with the deal, Washington had “significant” problems with the current arrangement.
Mogherini in response to all the speculation has once again spoken in favor of the deal. She said,
“There is no need to renegotiate parts of the agreement because the agreement is concerning a nuclear programme and as such is delivering.” She also referenced North Korea noting, “We already have one potential nuclear crisis. We definitely do not need to go into another one.”
However, reports have emerged that Trump has made his mind up about the deal. It is likely that the US will be decertifying the deal.
Iranian President Rouhani has already made it clear that the country will not enter negotiations again.
Our assessment is that the EU is sending a strong message to Washington that the landmark 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers holds good. Given that the EU member states and Russia are in favor of continuing the agreement, we believe that US will find it hard to delegitimize it. There have been strong comments from the Russian Foreign Minister that they would defend the agreement as it would genuinely strengthen both regional and international security.