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Iran's Araqchi in meeting with Finnish officials: Europeans must take operational steps to safeguard JCPOA

ISNA - Iranian Students' News Agency

Wed / 19 December 2018 / 10:57

Tehran (ISNA) - Iranian deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs, who is in Finland for bilateral talks, has held separate meetings with a number of Finnish officials in Helsinki.

Araqchi on Tuesday met the Finnish Foreign Ministry's Permanent State Secretary Matti Anttonen and Under-Secretary of State Anne Sipiläinen.

He also held talks with Pertti Salolainen, the vice chairperson of the Finnish Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee, who is also the head of Finland-Iran Parliamentary Friendship Group.

During the meetings, the two sides conferred on the latest developments regarding the Iran nuclear deal, regional issues, and mutual cooperation between Tehran and Helsinki.

The Finnish officials underlined the country's full support for the 2015 nuclear agreement, known as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and described it as a great political, diplomatic, multilateral, and security achievement.

They also expressed the Finnish government's resolve to develop its cooperation with Iran, and said the Finnish companies are still interested in being present in Iranian markets and promoting their cooperation with the Islamic Republic, but are waiting for the European Union to prepare the grounds.

In addition, they said, the government of Finland is trying to provide facilities for small- and medium-sized companies.

Araqchi, for his part, highlighted the significant role the JCPOA plays in the development and enhancement of Iran's cooperation and transactions with other countries, including Finland.

"The fate of JCPOA, which is a great achievement of diplomacy and security, has been seriously challenged and threatened as a result of the US' withdrawal," the Iranian diplomat said.

By leaving the nuclear deal, he said, "the US is undermining not only the JCPOA but also the independence and sovereignty of other countries as well as the global efforts for non-proliferation."

He also hailed the EU for its "praiseworthy" political support, and said, "The EU's political support is valuable, but not enough. European countries must take operational steps to safeguard the JCPOA."

Araqchi also pointed to the re-imposition of US sanctions against Iran, and said the policy of sanction is a failed one.

"Iran has lived with sanctions for years, and has even gained considerable achievements under the sanctions. The language of respect must replace the language of sanction and threat."

He welcomed the Finnish government's political resolve to continue and expand its all-out cooperation with Tehran, and expressed the hope that further efforts will be made to develop mechanisms and proper solutions in order to facilitate the presence of Finnish companies, especially the small- and medium-sized ones, in Iran.

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