Five world powers agreed with Iran Friday to forge ahead with negotiations with the Islamic Republic and maintain its ability to export gas and oil as they met in Vienna in a bid to preserve a nuclear deal despite the withdrawal of the United States.
European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini told reporters that top diplomats from Germany, Britain, France, Russia and China reaffirmed their commitment to the 2015 deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, saying the deal is in the “security interest of all.”
“The participants recognized that, in return for the implementation by Iran of its nuclear-related commitments, the lifting of sanctions, including the economic dividends arising from it, constitutes an essential part of the JCPOA,” Mogherini told reporters after the meeting without taking questions, according to the Associated Press.
For his part, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said he believed there is political resolve for maintenance of Iran nuclear deal.
Zarif, who was speaking to reporters after the joint meeting of Iran and G4+1 countries, said however, “We have to wait and see what would happen in practice.”
“We wait to see whether the other sides to the deal would implement the points we discussed and agreed upon today which have been included in the statement of the joint commission,” IRNA news agency quoted the top Iranian diplomat as saying.
Asked whether the proposed package is enforceable, Zarif said: “In our opinion, it was neither enough nor accurate. Some points that were missed in the executive package, were raised today in the statement and the negotiating parties are politically and legally obliged to put into practice the remaining points in the executive package.”
On when the package would become finalized, the foreign minister said: “The package is nearly finalized and the commitments are clear. It only needs to become operational.”
On the other hand, Mogherini noted that companies pursuing business in Iran “have been acting in good faith based on the commitments contained in the JCPOA and endorsed at the highest level by the UN Security Council” and said the treaty states were committed to providing “clear and effective support for economic operators trading with Iran.”
Before the meeting, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas conceded that the treaty nations would not be able to compensate Iran entirely for the loss of business from companies withdrawing. But Maas said they would advise firms that want to continue investing and emphasize to Iran that leaving the deal “would have much greater disadvantages.”
“We want to make it clear to Iran today that it still has economic benefits from this agreement,” Maas told reporters. “Above all we will try to create the conditions for that.”
Other objectives Mogherini outlined included maintaining wider economic relations with Iran, financial channels, Iran’s export of oil and gas, and the continuation of sea, land, air and rail transportation links. Mogherini said all participants had agreed to reconvene the JCPOA again at a later date.