EU helps reach 'game changer' Iran nuclear deal
Iran has agreed not to 'seek, develop or acquire any nuclear weapons' after talks with the EU, China, Russia and US.
EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini and the E3+3 - France, Germany, the UK, China, Russia and the US - have reached a deal with Iran on the country's nuclear programme. The agreement was 13 in the years in the making, with Mogherini and Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif hailing this as "an historic day".
The text of the joint comprehensive plan of action says, "Iran reaffirms that under no circumstances will Iran ever seek, develop or acquire any nuclear weapons", and that in exchange, all UN security council, multilateral and national sanctions against Tehran will be lifted.
Ministers of the E3+3 and Iran will now meet every two years to take stock of the progress made and "to adopt appropriate decisions by consensus".
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Mogherini and Zarif commented, "what we are announcing today is not only a deal but a good deal. And a good deal for all sides - and the wider international community."
"This agreement opens new possibilities and a way forward to end a crisis that has lasted for more than 10 years. We are committed to make sure this joint comprehensive plan of action is fully implemented, counting also on the contribution of the international atomic energy agency."
"We call on the world community to support the implementation of this historic effort."
"This is the conclusion of our negotiations, but this is not the end of our common work. We will keep doing this important task together."
And European council president Donald Tusk took a break from Greece crisis talks to congratulate Mogherini, noting that, "if fully implemented, the agreement could be a turning point in relations between Iran and the international community, paving the way to new avenues of cooperation between the EU and Iran. Geopolitically, it has the potential to be a game changer."
European parliament president Martin Schulz said, "cooperation and respect of international norms pay off over confrontation", but stressed that, "now implementation of the agreement will be key."
Chair of parliament's Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats group Gianni Pittella praised the deal as "a very positive step which could strengthen EU relations with Tehran."
"This agreement opens new avenues for constructively engaging with Iran on regional security issues, such as our common fight against Isis/Daesh, the end of civil war in Syria and stabilisation of the situation in Iraq and Afghanistan."
Marietje Schaake, a member of parliament's Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe group, acknowledged that "this is a day of historic importance for the entire world", but highlighted that, "now that the hurdle of the negotiations is largely out of the way, space opens up for more political focus on other important topics."
"It is now key to seek cooperation and progress on counter terrorism and regional stability. Iran plays a vital role in helping the Assad regime in Syria. The EU cannot sit back while people are being killed every day, and the war on Syria rages on. Iran has contributed billions to strengthening the government in Damascus as well as militia on the ground. It must now choose to be part of the solution and the end of the war instead."
"The EU must make sure the sanctions relief does not fuel a grey economy. Instead, the EU's focus should be on the wellbeing of Iranians, their human rights and fundamental freedoms first and foremost," underlined the Dutch MEP.
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