02/02/2021, 09.41
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Nuclear, Zarif: EU as 'mediator' between the US and Iran

Tehran maintains only Brussels can favour the return to the nuclear agreement by "coordinating and synchronizing" times and mechanisms. For the EU, too, it is essential to "find the means" that will allow the United States and Iran to return to the nuclear deal. And "time is not a problem".

Tehran (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has appealed to the European Union to play the role of mediator between Tehran and Washington to "save" the 2015 nuclear deal (JCPOA) ​​cancelled by Donald Trump with sanctions.

The head of the Islamic Republic diplomacy believes the position of Brussels is strategic and, with the installation of the new US administration of Democrat Joe Biden, it can facilitate a "synchronization" and "coordination" of the "mechanism" for the return to the atomic pact.

Under the nuclear agreement, the Foreign Minister of the European Union also plays the role of coordinator of the Joint Commission for the implementation of the terms of the pact itself. Interviewed by CNN, Zarif turned to his European counterpart Josep Borrell (pictured) inviting him to promote joint action to "implement" all the measures provided for in the pact "by Iran and the United States".

In the aftermath of the US elections that marked Trump's defeat, President Hassan Rouhani and Zarif himself promoted intense diplomatic work to restore the agreement in all its parts and ease sanctions.

In May 2018, outgoing US President Donald Trump ordered the United States pull out from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA),​​ signed by his predecessor Barack Obama in 2015, despite the opposition of the international community.  Trump followed the withdrawal by imposing the toughest sanctions in history against Iran. The decision has negatively impacted the Iranian economy as noted by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Covid 19 emergency only worsened the situation for the population. In response, Tehran threatened to resume uranium enrichment for civilian purposes and has already surpassed uranium reserves.

Yesterday, an EU spokesman confirmed Brussels' attempt to "find the means for the United States to re-enter the agreement" and for Iran to "fully respect its commitments again". Zariff immediately took up this statement underlining the centrality of Europe and its role as mediator between Tehran and Washington.

Biden has already announced that he wants to return to the JCPOA, but at the moment there is a tug-of-war between the two countries over who should "take the first step" and try to erase the last three years of tensions and conflicts, steps that are not just verbal.

The proposal launched by Zarif, a skilled diplomat who has repeatedly shown his preference for dialogue over confrontation, seems to open the door for the first time to a "synchronization" of the process of returning to the atomic pact. At the same time, he reminds the Americans that it was they who abandoned him and must therefore "show their good faith".

In an interview with NBC, the new US Secretary of State Antony Blinken estimated that it will take "a little" time for Iran to re-enter the ranks and "a little more" for the United States to assess "whether it has maintained their commitments ". "Timing is not a problem," concluded Zarif.

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