Iran says EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell will travel to the country on Monday to meet and exchange views with Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and other senior officials.
Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said on Sunday that the visit to Tehran is the first by the top EU diplomat after taking office.
The visit comes at a time that the European signatories to a 2015 nuclear deal — France, Britain and Germany — have failed to meet their commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Last month, the trio gave into Washington’s pressure and triggered a dispute mechanism devised in the accord which amounts to a formal accusation that Tehran had broken the terms of the agreement.
The European measure could lead to the restoration of anti-Iran sanctions, which had been lifted by the JCPOA.
In an interview with German weekly news magazine, Der Spiegel, Zarif said, "It’s a disaster for Europe to be so subservient to the US. Anybody who accepts unilateralism is helping it."
On January 16, the EU foreign policy chief and Zarif discussed the latest developments around the JCPOA during a meeting on the sidelines of a conference in India.
According to an EU statement, Borrell "underlined the continued interest of the European Union to preserve the agreement, which is now more important than ever, in light of the dangerous escalations in the Middle East and the Persian Gulf region."
The JCPOA was signed between Iran and six world states — namely the US, Germany, France, Britain, Russia and China — in 2015. It was also ratified in the form of a UN Security Council resolution.
However, Washington’s exit in May 2018 and subsequent reimposition of sanctions against Tehran left the future of the historic deal in limbo.
Tehran remained fully compliant with the JCPOA for an entire year, waiting for the co-signatories to fulfill their end of the bargain by offsetting the impacts of Washington’s bans on the Iranian economy.
As the European parties failed to do so, Iran moved in May 2019 to suspend parts of its commitments under Articles 26 and 36 of the pact covering Tehran’s legal rights.
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