The Russian Foreign Minister with his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Zarif, during a meeting in Moscow on April 28, 2018
The Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohamad Javad Zarif, is traveling to Brussels on Tuesday after having visited Beijing and Moscow to try to save the agreement on Iran’s nuclear program, from which the United States decided to withdraw.
There he will meet with his French, German and British counterparts, representatives of the three European countries that signed the text.
“The agreement with Iran works, we have to do as much as possible to preserve it,” Maja Kocijancic, spokeswoman for the head of European diplomacy Federica Mogherini, who will also meet with Zarif, told AFP.
The stage in the European capital is the third on the diplomatic tour that Zarif undertook in China and continued in Russia, where he met with his Russian counterpart, Serguei Lavrov.
After the Brussels meetings, Zarif will have spoken with the foreign ministers of the five of the six powers that signed the agreement in 2015, which stipulates the lifting of sanctions against Iran in exchange for the commitment that the Islamic Republic does not manufacture the atomic bomb.
“The ultimate goal of all these meetings is to obtain guarantees that the interests of the Iranian people, guaranteed by the agreement, will be defended,” Zarif said in Moscow.
At the end of this diplomatic tour, “we will see how we can organize a joint working group so that it receives the support of the international community,” he explained after having met with Lavrov, quoted by the Iranian agency ISNA.
– Unusual approach –
For his part, Lavrov considered at the beginning of the meeting that both Russians and Europeans should “defend their interests” on this issue.
Russia “is willing to continue to respect the Iranian nuclear agreement despite the withdrawal of the United States,” President Vladimir Putin was quoted as saying by one of his advisors on the sidelines of a meeting in Sochi with the director of the International Energy Agency. Atomic (IAEA), Yukiya Amano.
The departure from the United States involves a rapprochement between Moscow and the Europeans, something unusual, given the tensions of recent years, fueled by the crises in Syria and Ukraine, and stoked recently by the case of the poisoning of Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal in Ingalterra
Meanwhile, the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, also spoke in recent days with their counterparts in the European countries signing the agreement, to ask them to continue their “strong cooperation” with Washington, the State Department said Monday. American in a statement.
Pompeo considered that the United States and its European allies had identical interests: “to act so that Iran never has the nuclear weapon” and “to counteract the destabilizing activities of the Iranian regime in the region,” the statement said.
The US Navy said on Monday it expected a “period of uncertainty” regarding Iran’s attitude in the Gulf, after Washington denounced the agreement. “Of course, we must remain vigilant, even more than usually, to be prepared for any kind of reaction or new development,” US Navy Chief of Staff Admiral John Richardson told reporters during a visit to the USS George aircraft carrier. HW Bush.
The agreement was concluded in July 2015 after several years of negotiations between Iran and Germany, China, the United States, Russia, France and the United Kingdom. Under the agreement, Tehran agreed to freeze its nuclear program until 2025.
The Iranians hope “to be able to establish a clear future framework for the agreement,” Zarif said in Beijing, while warning that Iran was “prepared for all options” if its interests were not guaranteed.
On Friday, he went further and claimed that Tehran was preparing to resume “industrial enrichment” of uranium “without any restriction,” unless Europe provides solid evidence that it will maintain its trade relations with Iran.
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