Monday, 21 May, 2018

Merkel Defends Nuclear Agreement with Iran

Angela Merkel German Chancellor Angela Merkel
Melinda Barton | 17 May, 2018, 01:09

A day before the start of the next summit of the European Union (EU), the head of the German government said that Iran sticks to the commitments of the pact, as recently confirmed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The relationship between Europe and the United States should endure differences such as the diplomatic dispute about Iran's nuclear program, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday.

"The question is whether you can talk better if you terminate an agreement or if you stay in it ... we say you can talk better if you remain in it".

On Tuesday, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said that after talks with the foreign ministers of the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Iran in Brussels, the sides had agreed to work out practical solutions in response to the U.S. withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), known as the Iran nuclear deal, within the next few weeks.

Iran has described the sanctions as illegal and has warned that if talks to rescue the accord fail, it would ramp up its nuclear programme to a level more advanced.

The work, Mogherini said, was focusing on nine key areas including Iran's capacity to continue selling oil and gas as well as ways to protect European firms doing business in the country.

The statement came a week after President Donald Trump announced that the USA would withdraw from the JCPOA despite the fact that Iran remained in compliance with the deal as verified by the IAEA in 11 inspection reports.

Major European powers have sought to keep Iran in a landmark global nuclear agreement after President Donald Trump pulled the USA out of the pact and promised tough economic sanctions against Tehran.

He was due to hold talks later in Brussels with the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany.