Feb 16, 2019 07:10 Asia/Tehran [Updated: Aug 31, 2019 10:59 Asia/Tehran]
  • EU unanimously rejects US call to leave Iran nuclear deal

EU officials defended Europe's attempts to keep a nuclear deal with Iran alive after the unilateral American withdrawal, rejecting US President Donald Trump’s protectionist trade measures as creating a “lose-lose” situation.

Iran Press/Europe: Germany’s foreign minister Heiko Maas on Friday fired back after harsh criticism from US Vice President Mike Pence of some of Washington’s closest European allies.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Friday that Europe would seek to keep the deal alive, Iran Press reported.

The reaction from Heiko Maas came after US Vice President Mike Pence claimed at the Warsaw meeting, that Germany wasn’t doing its part internationally, and that Germany wasn't doing enough to ensure Europe's security.

The German foreign minister Heiko Maas emphasized that salvaging the nuclear deal (JCPOA) is ‘fundamental’ to the European continent’s security.

Mike Pence also accused Germany, Britain, France of trying to “break” American sanctions on Iran and called on them to pull out from the nuclear deal."

German FM: security is not measured solely in increasing defense budgets

Maas told a conference of world leaders and top diplomats and defense officials that Germany, Britain, France and the European Union as a whole were committed to preserving the 2015 deal meant to prevent Iran from obtaining a bomb.

“Without it, one thing is clear, the region would be no safer but instead a step closer to an open confrontation, with all of the implications that would have on Europe’s own security,” he said.

Maas said that Germany has “no interest in a division of the West,” but he said the US needed to work with its partners to seek multilateral solutions to international issues, like the rising power and influence of China.

He singled out Trump’s tariffs on steel, saying they had cost jobs in the US, raised the cost of steel and are threatening jobs in Europe.

“For me, it’s a classic case of lose-lose,” he said.

He rejected the suggestion that Germany wasn’t doing its part internationally, noting several military deployments but also other engagements.

“We actively promote much closer cooperation in all policy areas, from security, trade and digital to climate and the environment,” he said. 

Mogherini: JCPOA vital to EU security

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini also defended the deal, saying that the bloc would do whatever possible to keep it alive.

“We believe it is fundamental and crucial to our security, and a fundamental pillar for the nuclear non-proliferation architecture globally,” she said.

France committed to Iran Deal

Meanwhile, In Paris, France’s foreign affairs ministry issued a statement in response to Mike Pence’s criticism, saying that the country was standing by its commitment to the implementation of the Iran nuclear deal.

Zarif: Iran doesn’t trust US government, Donald Trump

Iran wasn’t represented in Warsaw, but Foreign Minister Javad Zarif is in Munich for the weekend meetings. He told NBC’s “Today” show in comments broadcast Friday that even if the US wanted to renegotiate the nuclear deal, he wouldn’t trust the Trump administration to honor any new agreement."

“Why should we negotiate?” he said. “Why should we trust President Trump that he would abide by his own signature?” 101/ 211 / 213

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