Zarif briefs parliament on talks with Europe

May 20, 2018 - 20:11

TEHRAN - Behrouz Nemati, spokesman for the parliament’s presiding board, said on Sunday that Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his deputy Abbas Araqchi briefed parliament on their talks with the Europeans on the fate of the 2015 nuclear deal now that the United States has withdrawn from the multilateral agreement and is seeking to reimpose sanctions on Iran.

Secretary of Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani and Finance and Economic Affairs Minister Masoud Karbasian also attended the closed session of parliament, Nemati added.

Zarif met with Federica Mogherini, the EU’s foreign policy chief, and the foreign ministers of France, Germany and the UK in Brussels on May 15.

“Constructive meeting with EU High Rep & E3 ministers in Brussels, following successful Beijing & Moscow visits. Positive start with solid political commitments. All agreed that much remains to be done in coming weeks to practically guarantee economic benefits for Iranian people,” Zarif tweeted on May 16.

Prior to Zarif’s talks, Araqchi held meetings at expert level in Brussels on May 14.

After the withdrawal of the U.S. from the nuclear deal on May 8, Iran wants assurances from the remaining parties that its interests are guaranteed or it will resume nuclear activities at a greater speed.

According to the Guardian, speaking after her meeting with Zarif, Mogherini said the EU had agreed to start work on a multi-level stream of work designed to keep the nuclear deal alive.

Mogherini issued a statement on Friday saying that the 28-nation bloc is united in preserving the international nuclear deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA.

The nuclear deal was signed in July 2015 between Iran, Germany, the European Union and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council. It went into effect in January 2016. 

Germany and four other nations - France, Britain, Russia and China - will soon meet to discuss how to proceed with the nuclear deal, German newspaper Welt am Sonntag reported on Sunday.  The meeting will be led by senior European Union diplomat Helga Schmid.


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