Conditioned support for preserving Iran nuclear deal remains

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — European, Russian, and Chinese signatories reaffirmed their support for the Iran nuclear deal after a week of meetings with top Iranian officials, although many of the objectives were prefaced by commitments based "in good faith and in a constructive atmosphere."

 

"The participants discussed their recent efforts aimed at providing practical solutions in order to maintain the normalisation of trade and economic relations with Iran," read a statement from the Joint Commission of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), released by the European Union on Friday.

 

The Commission was chaired by EU High Representative Federica Mogherini and included foreign ministers from China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and Iran.

 

"These initiatives are aimed at preserving the nuclear deal which is in the security interest of all," said the joint statement read out Mogherini.

 

After the United States pulled out of the deal in May, economic sanctions targeting the Iranian government have hurt the economy and people namely through currency devaluation. 

 

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Javad Zarif have expressed dissatisfaction with a lack of "actionable commitments" by the Commission. 

 

For its part, the Commission "affirmed their commitment" to several objectives including, but not limited to: "wider economic and sectoral relations," "the preservation and maintenance of effective financial channels," and "the encouragement of further investments in Iran."

 

The commitments listed were prefaced by "in good faith and in a constructive atmosphere."

 

Several European firms have cut ties with the Islamic Republic because they would risk being sanctioned by the US Treasury Department, as US banks form the backbone of the global economy.

 

The Iranians hoped for the Commission to make clear exemptions, in order to prevent the US administration's goal of total economic isolation.

 

The Commission also affirmed their commitment for "clear and effective support for economic operators trading with Iran, particularly small and medium sized enterprises which are the backbone of many economies."

 

Also conditioned were "the continuation of Iran’s export of oil and gas condensate, petroleum products and petrochemicals."

 

They emphasized "practical support for trade with and investment in Iran," adding that the work of private and public sector experts could promote "Business Councils."

 

All sides of the Commission reiterated the need for the "implementation of all nuclear related commitments."

 

"They welcomed steady progress made on the modernisation of the Arak research reactor and took note with satisfaction that the United Kingdom will take over the function of co-chair of the Arak Working Group," the statement added.

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