There’s a lot to talk about with Iran. In addition to the strict implementation of the Iranian nuclear deal, other controversial issues need to be discussed – above all Iran’s role in the Region.
EU backs nuclear deal
The German Government has made it clear that it will continue to support full implementation of the nuclear deal – the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). It will do this in close coordination with its European partners. The deal is a major success and a key building block of the global non-proliferation architecture. Foreign Minister Gabriel commented as follows at the EU/E3 meeting in Brussels (11 January):
We firmly believe that the nuclear agreement needs to be upheld. It is in the European interest. It is in the international community’s interest. If the only agreement that has prevented a region from developing nuclear weapons were to be sunk now, it would be a devastating signal for all others.
The EU will not waver in its commitment to the agreement as long as Iran in turn continues to comply with its obligations.
Spotlight on Iran’s regional role
However, other matters also urgently need to be discussed with Iran. Foreign Minister Gabriel has repeatedly stated that Iran’s role in the region is problematic. In his view, these other topics need to be dealt with while keeping the nuclear agreement separate and not putting its successes at risk. On 11 January, the Foreign Ministers of Germany, Britain and France, and the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, thus agreed with Foreign Minister Zarif of Iran to launch a structured dialogue on regional issues. In the coming weeks senior officials will try to find a suitable framework for such talks with a view to commencing the dialogue without delay.