Mogherini: Iran should benefit from ‘legitimate’ economic relations 

September 26, 2018

The European Union foreign policy chief has stressed that Iran should benefit from its “legitimate” economic relations with the world. 

“We are putting in place measures that are making sure that Iran can continue to benefit from the legitimate economic relations it has with the rest of the world,” Federica Mogherini told CNN an interview on Tuesday. 

“We are putting in place mechanisms together with the Europeans but also with the Russians, the Chinese, with others in the world to create that channels to keep trade with Iran that would guarantee that the trade could continue regardless of the secondary sanctions that the United States have put,” Mogherini stated. 

“What I am saying is that the United States cannot think of imposing its own policy decisions on sovereign countries and organizations, so Europeans have the legitimate rights to decide with whom to do business and trade and this is what we are doing.”She underlined that the EU is trying to keep the nuclear deal, officially known as the JCPOA, alive as a channel to maintain dialogue with Iran. “Not having the nuclear deal in place would not put us in a better position to discuss Iran the rest that we need to address.” 

“We spent 12 years negotiating Iran nuclear issues and that prevented us from talking about all the rest [issues]… preserving that nuclear agreement allows us to build in it and address the other issues with an open channel of dialogue.” 

She urged the need to keep talks as the sole option to address unsolved issues and ruled out other alternatives.

“Is there a better way than diplomacy and dialogue? Is it the military option the alternative that works? Isn’t it more dangerous?” 

Mogherini went on to assert that “engaging is not being soft.” She added, “You can be very strong and talk but do you have better alternatives than talking in times of conflict and crisis are causing around the world.”

Elsewhere in the interview, the EU chief diplomat said that Iran is still complying with its nuclear-related commitments, noting that the IAEA just came out with another report saying Iran is complying with commitments.

She defended the international diplomacy that led to the Iran deal in 2015, saying, “I’m not saying it’s easy and the confidence I have has a limit because it is indeed a difficult environment in which it will pay in but I’m convinced of the value of what we have done, and I’m convinced because I see the results.”

“And what I am saying is that the United States cannot think of imposing its own policy decisions on sovereign countries and organizations, so Europeans have the legitimate rights to decide with whom to do business and trade and this is what we are doing, not also to the Europeans but also to the rest of the world.”

“This idea that the world is in the hands of a strong men sitting around the table and deciding by themselves over the heads of the people I simply think that doesn’t work. That belongs to a different kind of era that is the past; another thing fits for this century. I don’t think this is what people of the world think and want to see.”

AFM/SP/PA  

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