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Iran, EU vow to enhance cooperation, interaction to settle issues

(Xinhua)    08:00, February 05, 2020

TEHRAN, Feb. 4 (Xinhua) -- The visiting EU representative and Iranian senior officials have expressed their readiness to boost cooperation in the matters of the Iranian nuclear program, regional security and others.

Josep Borrell, EU high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, announced that the European states will do their utmost to protect the Iranian 2015 landmark nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Press TV reported Tuesday.

The EU will extend indefinitely the time limit to resolve disputes in the Iranian nuclear accord, Borrell was quoted as saying.

"We are all in agreement not to go directly to a strict time limit which would oblige us to go to the United Nations Security Council," the EU envoy said.

"Our will is not to start a process that ends the JCPOA, but keeps it alive," he added.

On Jan. 14, Britain, France and Germany said they had taken a step to trigger dispute resolution mechanism in the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran in response to Tehran's moves to back off its nuclear commitments over the past months.

Iran, however, said its withdrawal from practical commitments under the JCPOA is a reaction to the U.S. exit from the deal in May 2018 and the subsequent sanctions, as well as Europe's sluggishness in facilitating Iran's banking transactions and its oil exports.

Cutting obligations under the 2015 nuclear deal was also a "wake-up call" for the remaining parties of the deal to protect Iran's economic interests, it added.

In his meeting with Borrell, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the Islamic republic is ready for interaction and cooperation with Europe to settle the problems, official IRNA news agency reported.

Rouhani also criticized Europe for what he called its failure to implement their commitments within the framework of the JCPOA.

As the EU foreign policy chief, Borrell vowed to make his utmost efforts to develop strong interaction with Iran to preserve the JCPOA.

In a meeting in the capital Tehran on Monday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Borrell discussed the latest developments surrounding the JCPOA as well as the ways to de-escalate tensions in the Gulf region.

They exchanged views about the implementation of the non-U.S. dollar direct payment channel called the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges, which was designed by the Europeans to facilitate their trade with Iran in the face of U.S. sanctions.

Zarif and Borrell also discussed the so-called U.S. peace proposal for the Middle East and its consequences for the region and the world.

Ahead of Borrell's arrival in Tehran, the office of the EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy said Borrell's mission is aimed "to de-escalate tensions and seek opportunities for political solutions to the current crisis."

The trip will allow Borrell "to convey the EU's strong commitment to preserve" the JCPOA and to discuss cooperation between the EU and Iran, it added.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Liang Jun, Bianji)

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