EU's Schmid due in Tehran this week to discuss ways to save JCPOA, ease Iran-US tensions
Iran Press TV
Wed Jun 12, 2019 03:50PM
The secretary general of the European Union's External Action Service (EEAS) is to pay an official visit to Iran this week as part of a tour of the Persian Gulf to discuss ways to ease tensions in the region and preserve a 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and six world powers.
Helga Schmid started her official visit to countries in the Persian Gulf on Wednesday with the United Arab Emirates on a tour that will also take her to Oman, Qatar and Iran, the EEAS said on its website.
The visit takes place against the backdrop of the existing tensions in the region, the report said, adding that it will be an opportunity to underline the call of the European Union to defuse regional tensions, find ways towards de-escalation and promote dialogue.
As part of the EU efforts to promote stability in the region, the visit will also aim at discussing the preservation of Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which continues to be a key element of the non-proliferation architecture and a key pillar of security, both globally and in the region, it added.
The visit will be the occasion to discuss bilateral relations as well as other regional issues, according to the website.
Schmid's upcoming visit to Tehran comes as German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas traveled to Iran at the start of the week with a declared aim of addressing ways to save the JCPOA, following the unilateral withdrawal of the US from the deal in May last year, and amid tensions between Iran and the US.
The top German diplomat met and held talks with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Monday.
Rouhani told Maas that Iran expected "Europe to stand up to and resist America's economic terrorism against the Iranian nation and fulfill its obligations in accordance with the JCPOA, adding that following the US withdrawal from the deal, Iran could have done the same but rather decided to remain patient and give other signatories a chance.
The Iranian president said the US is pressing ahead with its policy of economic terrorism through "cruel sanctions," stressing that the "war that the US has waged against Iran since a year ago, will not serve the interest of anybody."
Following the US 's withdrawal from the JCPOA, the European sides to the deal -- the UK, France and Germany -- have been seeking ways to keep trade with Iran alive and circumvent Washington's bans, but Iran says they have not been fully committed to their obligations and have criticized them for bowing to US pressures.
This comes as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is also in Tehran with a plan to help ease tensions between the Islamic Republic and the United States.
During his two-day visit to Iran, Abe will meet President Rouhani and he is scheduled to meet with Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei on Thursday.
Tensions between Iran and the US have spiked since May 2018, when President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the JCPOA and reimposed sanctions against Tehran.
Trump also introduced sanctions on third countries that would do business with the Islamic Republic.
Speaking to reporters before boarding his plane for Tehran, Abe said, "Amid concerns over growing tension in the Middle East and with the attention of the international community on the issue, Japan wishes to do its best toward peace and stability in the region."
"Based on traditional friendly ties between Japan and Iran, I would like to have candid exchanges of opinions" with the Iranian president and Ayatollah Khamenei "toward easing tensions," Abe added.
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