Today in Brussels EU Foreign ministers discuss Iran in light of the recent developments concerning the nuclear deal, (JCPOA). The discussion follows the meeting of the Joint Commission on 28 June and the recent announcements by Tehran on the JCPOA.
The Foreign Ministers of France, Germany, and the United Kingdom and the EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini have already expressed deep concern over Iran pursuing activities inconsistent with its commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA).
The leaders of France, Germany and the United Kingdom, sharing common security interests, in particular upholding the non-proliferation regime, recalled their continuing commitment to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) that was agreed upon four years ago with Iran, on 14 July 2015.
“Turkey’s declared intention to illegally conduct a new drilling operation northeast of Cyprus is of grave concern. This second planned drilling operation, two months after the start of the ongoing drilling operations west of Cyprus, is a further unacceptable escalation which violates the sovereignty of Cyprus” says the text of the statement by EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini on Turkey’s new drilling operation northeast of Cyprus.
“We call on the Turkish authorities, once again, to refrain from such actions, act in a spirit of good neighbourliness and respect the sovereignty and sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus in accordance with international law.”
“Recalling the conclusions of the European Council on 20 June 2019, Turkey’s continued actions have a serious negative impact across the range of EU-Turkey relations. As mandated by the European Council, the Commission and the EEAS are about to present options to the Council for appropriate measures. The European Union will respond appropriately and in full solidarity with Cyprus.”
Cyprus condemned Turkey‘s second attempt to drill for oil and gas in waters off the island, after the EU warned Ankara to stop its “illegal” activities or face sanctions.
“The Cypriot government condemns in the strongest terms the new illegal Turkish drilling in the east of Cyprus” the authorities said.
The European Union is “extremely concerned” about Iran’s announcement on stepping out of nuclear deal (JCPOA), and starting to enrich uranium above internationally-approved levels. The bloc calls on Islamic Republic to “stop and reverse” any action that goes against the nuclear deal, the European Commission spokesperson said on July 8.
President Trump has become the first sitting US President to step into North Korea. The historic event took place while meeting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the demilitarized zone (DMZ), and the two leaders are now holding a private bilateral meeting.
Earlier the same day Trump held a bilateral meeting, working lunch, and joint press conference with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in the capital Seoul.
The Council has extended the mandate of the EU co-ordinating office for Palestinian police support (EUPOL COPPS) and the mandate of the EU border assistance mission for the Rafah crossing point (EU BAM Rafah), until 30 June 2020. These missions are part of wider EU efforts in support of Palestinian state building in the context of working towards a comprehensive resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on a two-state solution.
EUPOL COPPS will continue to assist the Palestinian Authority in building the institutions of a future state of Palestine in the areas of policing and criminal justice based on its experience and cooperation with the Palestinian Authority since January 2006. Through its contribution to security and justice sector reform, the mission supports efforts to increase the security of the Palestinian population and to reinforce the rule of law. € 12.43 million have been allocated for the mission’s activities between 1 July 2019 and 30 June 2020.
The Council also extended the mandate of EUBAM Rafah until 30 June 2020. The mission is mandated to provide a third party presence at the Rafah crossing point in the Gaza Strip to contribute to building confidence between the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, including enhancing Palestinian capacities on all aspects of border management related to the Rafah crossing point. The mission maintains its readiness to redeploy to the Rafah crossing point once the political and security situation allows. In the meantime, EUBAM Rafah will continue providing technical assistance to the Palestinian general administration for borders and crossings (GABC) in integrated border management. The mission’s budget for the period between 1 July 2019 and 30 June 2020 amounts to € 2.15 million.
An Italian foreign fighter was repatriated on after being arrested in Syria, ANSA news agency reports. (Image above: illustration).
Samir Bougana, (25) from Moroccan origin, allegedly first fought with militias affiliated to Al Qaeda and then with ISIS.
An arrest warrant for Bougana was issued for the crime of association with terrorism after Brescia prosecutors opened an investigation into his activities in 2015. He is suspected to have reached the war zone in 2013 from Germany. His repatriation was fulfilled in cooperation between the Italian authorities and the FBI, who contacted the Kurdish-Syrian forces that Bougana surrendered to in August 2018.
Bougana was born in Gavardo, near Brescia, and lived in Italy until he was 16 before moving to Germany with his family.
The EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini reiterated the EU support for Iran nuclear deal, underlining the necessity of preserving it. Previously the EU diplomats went on mission to Tehran to discuss the current EU efforts, together with other European partners, to enable the continuation of legitimate trade with Iran, including through the launching of the special purpose vehicle “INSTEX“.
Behrooz Kamalvandi, the spokesman of Iran‘s Atomic Energy Organization announced Tehran would increase low-enriched uranium stockpile by fourfold in 10 days, exceeding the 300 km limit set by the #JCPOA. The EU has very little time to save the historic deal, however as soon as the Europeans fulfill their commitments, Tehran would stick to the agreed uranium production limit, the spokesperson added.