JCPOA talks will go ahead as planned: EU diplomat

December 15, 2020 - 21:42

TEHRAN – The European Union-Iran talks on the 2015 nuclear deal will go ahead as planned despite the controversy over the execution of Rouhollah Zam, an EU foreign service spokesman said, according to Euobserver.

The Joint Commission of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) plans to meet in Vienna on Wednesday, Iran and the EU said. However, after the execution of Amad News operator Rouhollah Zam, there have been rumors that the JCPOA talks may be postponed or canceled.

But the EU foreign service said that Wednesday's JCPOA talks, covering implementation details, will go ahead as planned despite Zam's execution.

“I wouldn't mix the two issues,” the EU spokesman said on Monday, adding, “You cannot connect it [the JCPOA], or link it, or even compare it with the objectives of the [postponed EU business] forum.”

The spokesman was referring to the Iran-Europe business forum that was due to be held through webinar during December 14-16 but was postponed in the wake of Zam’s execution. The business forum was collaboratively by Iran’s Trade Promotion Organization (TPO) and the European Union (EU).

The EU has condemned the execution of Zam, a move that prompted Iran to summon two European ambassadors – French and German – to Iran in protest over denouncing the execution.

In a statement on Saturday, the French Foreign Ministry condemned “in the strongest possible terms” the execution of Zam, calling it an “unacceptable act that goes against the country’s international commitments.”

The European countries also refused to participate in the business forum due to the execution. But the boycott doesn’t seem to include the nuclear talks with Iran.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Monday that the execution of Zam was unlikely to impinge on Iran-Europe relations.

“A court has reviewed the [Zam] case and issued the verdict. We act in the framework of our regulations,” Rouhani noted, adding, “I see it as unlikely that the case will damage Iran and Europe relations.”

Earlier this week, Seyed Abbas Araghchi, the deputy foreign minister of Iran for political affairs, announced that that the Joint Commission will hold a meeting at the level of deputy ministers and political directors of the 4+1 (France, Russia, China, the UK, and Germany). The meeting will be held via videoconference. Araghchi said he will represent Iran in the meeting.

In late November, the European Union External Action Service said in a statement that the meeting will be held in Vienna.

“A meeting of the Joint Commission of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) will take place in Vienna on 16 December. The Joint Commission will be chaired on behalf of EU High Representative Josep Borrell by the Secretary-General of the European External Action Service Helga Maria Schmid and will be attended by the representatives of E3+2 countries (China, France, Germany, Russia, United Kingdom) and Iran,” the EU statement said.

According to the statement, the meeting will discuss ways to preserve the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

“Participants will discuss ongoing work to preserve the JCPOA and how to ensure the full and effective implementation of the agreement by all sides, including in the preparation of exchanges at Ministerial Level,” the statement said.

PA/PA

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