Top EU official: Iran nuclear program is not intended for peace

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Ebrahim Raisi

Ebrahim Raisi

As world powers are poised to resume negotiations with Iran over the 2015 nuclear deal by the end of November, Member of the European Parliament David Lega warns that “the Iranian nuclear program is not intended for peaceful purposes,” despite the regime claiming otherwise.

“We have not yet made a decision with regard to Iran, but we are keeping a close eye on it,” said Lega, who serves on the EU Foreign Affairs Committee. “I cannot speak on behalf of the entire committee, because we have not formally discussed the matter yet, but I do think that most members would agree with me on this.”

During his telephone interview, which he conducted from Sweden, Lega recalled the condemnation letter he and fellow committee members sent to EU Foreign Minister Josep Borrell after he sent Enrique Mora – Deputy Secretary-General of the European External Action Service and Iran talks coordinator – to the inauguration ceremony of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, known as the “Butcher of Tehran.”

“I think in many ways, the European Parliament has in recent years begun to see what a threat Iran is, that is why it is so sad that they sent Mora to the swearing-in ceremony. I do not understand why we should recognize these elections at all,” said Lega.

Nevertheless, he also pointed out that the European Parliament has already begun taking action against the ayatollah regime, including designating Iran-backed Hezbollah as a terrorist organization and the Houthi rebels fighting in Yemen as proxies of the Islamist republic.

“If we do reach an agreement, Europe cannot be the only one to respect it,” Lega continued. “We need to ensure that Iran abides by the deal and respects it, we need to be very clear about how we should act and what sanctions we should include. In my opinion, this is the most important part. If only we honored the agreement, that would be a disaster.”

Although Lega gave his interview from Sweden, he traveled to Israel on Monday as part of a delegation by ELNET – European Leadership Network – which works to foster ties between Israel and Europe. The delegation included a dozen senior European Parliament officials.

ELNET CEO Shai Bazak said that “the arrival of senior European Parliament members to Israel is another significant step in fostering the vital connection between Israel and Europe. I am confident that this important visit has the power to further promote the two parties’ common interests, as part of future initiatives and collaborations.”

Meanwhile, nuclear deal negotiations are expected to resume on Nov. 29 in Vienna, Borrell said in a statement on Wednesday.

The meeting will be chaired on behalf of Borrell by Mora. “Representatives of China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and Iran will participate,” Borrell said.

The United States said Wednesday that a compromise to save the agreement is possible “quickly,” provided that Iran is “serious” in its intentions. The US “welcomed” the announcement of the resumption of negotiations and confirmed that they would participate with their envoy for Iran, Rob Malley.

The talks involve the so-called P4+1 – the four permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (China, France, Germany, Russia and Britain) plus Germany. The US is a permanent member of the UNSC but is participating indirectly in the negotiations.

The resumption of talks which have stalled since June were confirmed on the Iranian side by the country’s top nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani, who posted to Twitter that he had agreed to the Nov. 29 date in a phone call with Mora.

We have agreed to resume the negotiations aimed at removing the unlawful and inhumane sanctions, Bagheri Kani tweeted.

Nevertheless, the head of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council said on Wednesday that negotiations to revive the deal – officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – will fail unless US President Joe Biden can guarantee that Washington will not again abandon the pact.

“The US President, lacking authority, is not ready to give guarantees. If the current status quo continues, the result of negotiations is clear,” Ali Shamkhani said in a tweet.

In April, Iran and six powers started talks in Vienna to reinstate the deal, which then-US President Donald Trump withdrew from three years ago before reimposing sanctions that have crippled Iran’s economy.

The US and European powers have urged Iran to return to negotiations, warning that time is running out as the Islamist republic’s uranium enrichment program is advancing well beyond the limits set by the nuclear pact.

In reaction to Trump’s reimposition of sanctions, Tehran breached the deal by rebuilding stockpiles of enriched uranium, refining it to higher fissile purity and installing advanced centrifuges to speed up output.

Source » israelhayom

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