Borrell in his first visit to Tehran- limitations, expectations

Tehran (IP) - The European Union's foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell arrived in Iran on Monday for the first time since taking office.

Iran Presscommentary: Spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran Abbas Mousavi said that Josep Borrell, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, is going to meet Iranian President, Foreign Minister, and Speaker of Parliament on Monday.

"Josep Borrell will meet with the president, Foreign Minister, and Parliament Speaker to discuss the JCPOA nuclear deal and Iran-EU relations, as well as recent regional and international developments."

Spain's top diplomat who was the head of the European Parliament for years 2004-7 and the Spanish Foreign Ministry, has succeeded Federica Mogherini, a former EU foreign policy chief and started his job since November 2019.

Borrell had met with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif earlier this month in New Delhi. It was the first meeting he had with Iran's FM since he had taken the office. In that meeting Zarif spoke in an explicit and well-founded manner, citing European mistakes and inactions and rejected three European countries' claims of Iran's breach of the JCPOA and called on the three countries to correct their behavior towards Iran and the nuclear agreement.

Borrell: Iran did not break the nuclear deal

The EU three members of JCPOA (Germany, France, and Britain) in January activated the dispute settlement mechanism in JCPOA, followed by Iranian backlash. Borrell is seen as one of the supporters of the nuclear deal, as he said in response to Iran's move to reduce its commitments that "Fortunately, Iran did not break the nuclear deal, and we must prevent it from being fully torn down. It is bad news for the United States to condemn the nuclear deal. The Iranian have not broken the nuclear deal but their answer is to the US action. They have said that if the United States fails to fulfill its obligations, they will not fulfill their obligations too and will take action within the framework of the agreement."

He also said in an explicit statement last May in an interview with Spain's El País newspaper criticizing the US government's unilateralism and interventionist actions, "We are most interested in maintaining the nuclear agreement and urge Iran to do its utmost to maintain its nuclear deal." 

Referring to a Spanish saying, the new EU foreign policy official said, "We do our best to keep the JCPOA alive."

The 14th meeting of the JCPOA Joint Commission was held in Vienna in December. The closing statement welcomed the decision by the governments of Belgium, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Norway to join INSTEX and prospects for other countries to enter into trade with Iran, but now Europe's next steps are in contradiction with what was agreed in Vienna.

After the Viena meeting, Borrell tweeted: "I support the call to fully implement of JCPOA and reverse the recent negative trend."

Rouhani: Iran considers withdrawing from the NPT

Iran president recently has sent a letter to the 4+1 states that if the Security Council sanctions against Iran were reinstated, Iran would consider withdrawing from the NPT.

Referring to the letter, Mohammad Sadeq Ayatullahi former Iranian envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says "The pressures on Iran over the past years have been so intense and intolerable that if only a few of them had happened to European countries, they would succumb, but Iran has endured it. However, this does not mean that this process will continue forever."

Given Borrell's views and positions, it seems that he has more rational attitudes toward JCPOA, having a critical and cautious view of the United States.

However, commenting on his performance regarding JCPOA must be accessed to actions within his official responsibility.

To what extent can Borrell's talks in Tehran meet Iran's expectations of Europe in the face of the crisis, and whether the European Troika is willing to take steps rationally and engage with Iran in upholding the JCPOA, is a question that its answer lies on the measures taken by European to respect Iranian rights in the near future.

Writer: Jamshid Aminzadeh


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