China, France, Germany, Russia, Britain and Iran met in Vienna on Wednesday to voice support for the Iran nuclear deal, the EU External Action Press Office has announced. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was signed in 2015, but was seen to be threatened by the unilateral withdrawal of the US in 2018.
The Vienna meeting cited concerns about the impact of the withdrawal as well as US sanctions imposed on Iran by the Trump administration.
EU High Representative Josep Borrell and EU External Action Service Secretary General Helga Maria Schmid chaired the sessions. Schmid tweeted that the meeting “concluded with substantial discussions on next steps.”
— Helga Maria Schmid (@HelgaSchmid_EU) February 26, 2020
According to Iran’s Press TV, European signatories to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal are keen to preserve the agreement, Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said after the meeting. “All remaining participants in the JCPOA confirmed once again the importance of this deal and their support for the deal, and their efforts, their willingness to protect this deal to make sure that the JCPOA would stay alive,” he told reporters.
Mikhail Ulyanov, representing Russia, said that the meeting was held in a “business-like atmosphere” where participants “reaffirmed their commitment” to the Iran deal. Iran’s state-run news agency IRNA called the conference the “shortest ever” JCPOA meeting.
Meeting of Joint Commission of #JCPOA was held in businesslike atmosphere. Participants reaffirmed their commitment to #IranDeal as a key element of non-proliferation architecture. Experts will further discuss nuclear implementation and economic issues.
— Mikhail Ulyanov (@Amb_Ulyanov) February 26, 2020
The group of six nations criticised the US for its withdrawal from the agreement. “Nuclear deal meeting in Vienna addressed Iran’s steps in reducing nuclear commitments as well as longstanding concerns by all participants regarding the impact of the US withdrawal from nuclear deal and the re-imposition of sanctions,” tweeted the lead spokesperson for the EU External Action Service, Peter Stano.
#JCPOA Joint Commission meeting in Vienna addressed Iran's steps in reducing nuclear commitments as well as longstanding concerns by all participants regarding the impact of the US withdrawal from #nucleardeal & re-imposition of sanctions. https://t.co/HWVIE7HqNt
— Peter Stano (@ExtSpoxEU) February 26, 2020
The representatives also expressed their solidarity with China and Iran in their efforts to address the COVID-19 — coronavirus — outbreak, reported Deutsche Welle.