Tag Archives: Iran

Michel on access to Hamid Karzai airport

Brussels 24.08.2021 Remarks by President Charles Michel following the G7 leaders’ meeting on Afghanistan via videoconference: “We just participated in the virtual G7 leaders’ meeting on Afghanistan”.

“First, we tackled what remains our most pressing priority: the safe evacuation of the coalition’s citizens, Afghan staff, and their families.

“The EU and its member states spare no effort to evacuate EU citizens, and those who have partnered trustfully with us. We are concerned, about their ability to safely reach the Kabul airport. We call on the new Afghan authorities, to allow free passage to all foreign, and Afghan citizens, who wish to get to the airport.

“We have also raised this issue with our American friends and partners on two particular aspects: first, the need to secure the airport, as long as necessary, to complete the operations; and second, a fair and equitable access to the airport, for all nationals entitled to evacuation.

On humanitarian aid and migration, I will just make two remarks.

First, the EU will do its part, to support the safety and proper living conditions of Afghans, who flee their country. We will work with the countries in the region, especially Iran, Pakistan, and central Asia, to address the different needs. International protection will be needed for those facing persecution and for other vulnerable Afghans. And EU member states will contribute to this international effort.

Second point: let’s be clear, let’s not allow the creation of a new market for smugglers and human traffickers. We are determined to keep the migratory flows under control and the EU’s borders protected.

Today it is too early to decide what kind of relations we will develop with the new Afghan authorities. We call for an inclusive political settlement and if we want to remain a positive influence for the Afghan people, especially in supporting their basic needs, we will have to deal with the new authorities.

This will be subject to strict conditions, regarding the deeds and attitude of the new regime. Both in preserving the political, economic and social achievements for the Afghan citizens, and their human rights, notably of women, girls and minorities. And in terms of the international obligations of Afghanistan ¬– in particular, security, the fight against terrorism, and drug trafficking.

On security, the cooperation between NATO and other allies will be key. Sharing data among allies and partners, to prevent entry of foreign terrorist fighters will also play an important role.

Finally, on the geopolitical implications of these event: ending the military operation in Afghanistan is not the end of our commitment to promoting rule of law, democracy, and human rights in the world. On the contrary, we should be more determined than ever. This must be clear to actors who are trying to take advantage of the current situation. The EU will continue to firmly protect and promote its interests and values.

And to conclude: there will be more lessons, to draw from what happened in Afghanistan. These events show, that developing our strategic autonomy, while keeping our alliances as strong as ever, is of the utmost importance, for the future of Europe. In due time, I will propose a discussion on this question to my fellow leaders of the European Council.

IRAN: President hardliner Ebrahim Raisi

Brussels 06.08.2021 The inauguration of Ebrahim Raisi as President of Iran signifies that from now onward the conservative control all branches of the Islamic Republic’s government and they intended to pursue a harder line in foreign and domestic policies.

Raisi, a former chief of the Iranian judiciary and a close ally of the supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, won a low-turnout election that had been arranged to prevent any credible opponent from running.

New President is perceived as Khamenei’s choice to succeed him as Supreme leader in a political system where a small group of Shiite clerics hold the ultimate power.

A list leaked to Iranian media indicates that key posts in Raisi’s cabinet will be offered to men with deep ties to the intelligence and security apparatus.

The political activists have warned that given his track record in the judiciary, which has jailed and executed dissidents, journalists and lawyers, they expect even more state oppression under the new administration.

“Raisi’s presidency is very much the rise and dominance of the military and security branch of the Islamic Republic and the retreat of the technocrats and moderate voices,” said Nader Hashemi, the director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Denver.

EU aid to Iran and Pakistan vulnerable

Brussels 13.07.2021 This week the Commission has announced renewed support for those most in need in Iran and Pakistan with €22 million in humanitarian aid. This package will assist those most affected by man-made crises, the COVID-19 pandemic, climate induced and other natural disasters in the region.

“Iran and Pakistan are both highly vulnerable to recurrent natural hazards, with both countries’ situations aggravated by a severe coronavirus pandemic. Iran and Pakistan are also the principal host countries of Afghan refugees worldwide. The EU is boosting support to humanitarian organisations in both countries at this critical time” Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič said.

Of the €22 million allocation, €15 million will focus on supporting humanitarian organisations working in Iran to assist the most vulnerable Iranians and Afghans in the country. Part of the funding will support the country’s battle against the severe coronavirus pandemic, including the provision of urgent medical equipment. EU humanitarian funding also supports Iran’s commendable efforts in assisting Afghans on its territory and host communities, on education, health, protection and livelihood.

€7 million will go to humanitarian organisations in Pakistan, focusing on the most vulnerable local populations, Afghans as well as host communities. Assistance will comprise Afghans and Pakistanis, affected by conflict, displacement, COVID-19 and natural disasters, including malnutrition.

All EU humanitarian aid is strictly monitored and only provided to established humanitarian organisations such as United Nations agencies, NGOs and international organisations.

Image above: illustration, Qom city, Iran.

JCPOA continues work in Vienna

Brusssels 02.06.2021 The Joint Commission of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) resumes today Wednesday 2 June, in Vienna (pictured).

The Joint Commission is chaired, on behalf of EU High Representative Josep Borrell, by the Deputy Secretary General/Political Director of the European External Action Service, Enrique Mora. It is attended by representatives of China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and Iran.

Participants continue their discussions in view of a possible return of the United States to the JCPOA and on how to ensure the full and effective implementation of the JCPOA.

Vienna: Borrell chairs JCPOA

Brussels 08.04.2021 The Joint Commission of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the Iran nuclear deal, will resume its work in a physical format on 9 April at 10.00 CET in Vienna.

The Joint Commission will be chaired on behalf of EU High Representative Josep Borrell by the Deputy Secretary General and Political Director of the European External Action Service Enrique Mora. It will be attended by representatives of China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and Iran.

Participants will take stock of the discussions held at various levels this week, including the relevant expert groups, in the view of a possible return of the United States and to ensure the full and effective implementation of the JCPOA by all sides.

EU-USA: Blinken visits Brussels

Brussels 24.03.2021 The EU top diplomat Josep Borrell and the U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken
have issued a joint press-release: EU-U.S. joint readout
“Joint press release on the meeting between High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell and the U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

On 24 March, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice President of the European Commission, Josep Borrell, and the Secretary of State of the United States of America, Antony J. Blinken met in Brussels to discuss ways to strengthen the EU-U.S. relationship and coordinate responses to priority foreign policy, security, and economic issues. They also committed to cooperate in the face of global challenges, including addressing the global climate crisis, bringing an end to the COVID-19 pandemic, facilitating a sustainable economic recovery, and defending democratic values and fundamental freedoms including within multilateral structures.

During the meeting, the two sides decided to re-launch the bilateral dialogue on China, as a forum to discuss the full range of related challenges and opportunities. They acknowledged a shared understanding that relations with China are multifaceted, comprising elements of cooperation, competition, and systemic rivalry. They also decided to continue meetings under the framework of the dialogue at senior official and expert levels on topics such as reciprocity, including economic issues; resilience; human rights; security; multilateralism; and areas for constructive engagement with China, such as climate change.

High Representative Borrell and Secretary Blinken confirmed that credible multi-party democracy, the protection of human rights and adherence to international law support the stability and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific. Both aim to cooperate to promote secure, sustainable, free and open maritime supply routes and supply chains and look forward to deepening cooperation with like-minded partners where interests and approaches intersect.

The two principals also discussed EU-U.S. partnership on climate action and working cooperatively to raise global ambition to put the world on a path to net-zero emissions by 2050.

The two sides plan to work together in multilateral fora, such as through the WHO and COVAX initiative to jointly address the global challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, including facilitating global distribution of safe and effective vaccines, addressing humanitarian impacts, and building future pandemic preparedness, including through advancing global health security.

High Representative Borrell and Secretary Blinken acknowledged that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) remained a key achievement of multilateral diplomacy despite existing difficulties. They shared concerns about Iran’s continued departure from its nuclear commitments under the JCPOA and underlined their full support for the work of the IAEA to independently monitor Iran’s nuclear commitments. Secretary Blinken reaffirmed the U.S. readiness to reengage in meaningful diplomacy to achieve a mutual return to full implementation of the JCPOA by the United States and Iran. The High Representative welcomed the prospect of a U.S. return to the JCPOA. Both sides expressed support for the ongoing diplomatic efforts, and the contacts of the High Representative as JCPOA Coordinator with all relevant partners, to ensure full implementation of the JCPOA nuclear and sanctions lifting commitments. The United States expressed readiness to engage in result-oriented discussions to that end.

High Representative Borrell and Secretary Blinken noted their determination to further address, in a coordinated manner, Russia’s challenging behaviour, including its ongoing aggression against Ukraine and Georgia; hybrid threats, such as disinformation; interference in electoral processes; malicious cyber activities; and military posturing. Both sides also decided to coordinate their response to the shrinking space in Russia for independent political voices, civil society and media freedom and the dwindling respect for human rights and the rule of law. At the same time, both sides declared that they are ready to engage with Russia on issues of common interest and to encourage Russia to abandon confrontational approaches.

They also decided to continue close cooperation to encourage comprehensive reforms in the EU Eastern neighbourhood, including South Caucasus countries.

The two principals underscored that the EU and the United States share a strong interest in a stable and prosperous Western Balkans region. They reaffirmed their commitment to work together to support reconciliation and improve governance, build resilience and push forward key reforms for EU integration across the region. EU-U.S. cooperation on the ground is vital for progress, including on the EU-facilitated dialogue on normalisation of relations between Kosovo and Serbia.

High Representative Borrell and Secretary Blinken affirmed the EU and the United States have a strategic interest in a stable and secure environment in the Eastern Mediterranean and will work hand in hand for sustainable de-escalation. Both the United States and the EU are interested in the development of a cooperative and mutually beneficial relationship with Turkey, underpinned by rule of law and respect for fundamental rights.

The two principals shared their concern about the continuing humanitarian tragedy and human rights violations and abuses in Tigray. They discussed a variety of measures to support unhindered humanitarian access, investigations of human rights violations and abuses, a cessation of hostilities, and the immediate withdrawal of Eritrea from Ethiopian territory.

On the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) negotiations, they called on all parties to show flexibility and move promptly to resume productive negotiations in the coming weeks. They expressed concern over increased tensions between Sudan and Ethiopia and encourage both countries to resolve their difference through peaceful means. They also discussed the situation in Somalia, where they expected a political consensus to deliver an election without delay.

The European Union and United States intend to intensify their cooperation on Afghanistan, together with key partners, to advance the peace process and to ensure the long-term stability and prosperity of the country. The European Union and its Member States are the largest civilian assistance donors to Afghanistan, contributing to the common goal of stability in the region.

High Representative Borrell and Secretary Blinken expressed support for continued NATO-EU cooperation. They agreed that NATO and the EU need new ways of working together and a new level of ambition because the multiple and evolving security challenges that NATO Allies and EU Member States face make robust NATO-EU cooperation essential to our shared security. The two principals recalled that capabilities developed through the defence initiatives of the EU and NATO should remain coherent, complementary and interoperable. They also noted that EU defence initiatives should enhance the European contribution to Transatlantic security and can offer concrete opportunities for cooperation between the EU and the United States. With this in mind, the principals supported the fullest possible involvement of the United States in EU defence initiatives and enhanced dialogue on these issues”.

IRAN: Borrell expresses condolences

Brussels 29.11.2020 The EU top diplomat Josep Borrell expressed his condolences to the family of the assassinated Iranian nuclear scientist via the statement, attributed to the European External Action Service spokesperson.

“On 27 November 2020 in Absard, Iran, an Iranian government official and, according to reports, one of his bodyguards, were killed in a series of violent attacks. This is a criminal act and runs counter to the principle of respect for human rights the EU stands for.
The High Representative expresses his condolences to the family members of the individuals who were killed, while wishing a prompt recovery to any other individuals who may have been injured.
In these uncertain times, it is more important than ever for all parties to remain calm and exercise maximum restraint in order to avoid escalation which cannot be in anyone’s interest”, the EU statement said.

On November 27th Iranian nuclear physicist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh-Mahabada was assassinated while driving in Absard, a city 80km east of Tehran, by what Iran’s defence ministry called “armed terrorists”. Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, named by the West as leading scientist for the Islamic Republic’s military nuclear programme until its disbanding in the early 2000s, and served as the head of the Research and Innovation Organisation of the defence ministry at the time of his death.

JCPOA: EU regrets U.S. ends projects in Iran

“We deeply regret the U.S. decision to end the three waivers covering key JCPOA nuclear projects in Iran, including the Arak Modernisation Project. These projects, endorsed by UN Security Council resolution 2231, serve the non-proliferation interests of all and provide the international community with assurances of the exclusively peaceful and safe nature of Iranian nuclear activities” reads the Joint statement by spokespersons of the High Representative of the EU and the Foreign Ministries of France, Germany and the United Kingdom on the JCPOA.

“We are consulting with our partners to assess the consequences of this decision by the United States.

“The JCPOA is a key achievement of the global non-proliferation architecture and currently the best and only way to ensure the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme. That is why we have worked continuously with the aim of ensuring the full and effective implementation of commitments under the JCPOA, in particular the return of Iran to full compliance with its nuclear commitments without delay”.

The Trump administration has ended the sanctions waivers that made possible to Russian, Chinese and European companies to do work at sensitive Iranian nuclear sites, following a conflict between Iranian hard-liners and a more rigorous insiders of the U.S. government, according to U.S. officials and documents obtained and refered to by The Washington Post.

Image: illustration

Borrell condemns Iran belligerent rhetoric

EU top diplomat and security chief Josep Borrell condemned the belligerent declaration of the Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who has treated to Israel:

“I condemn in the strongest possible terms the call by the Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei to fight Israel. This is a threat to international peace and security. The security of Israel is of paramount importance and the EU will stand at its side” the diplomat wrote in a statement on his Twitter micro blog.

The reaction of the EU diplomacy came after the announcement of the Supreme leader to support and assist “any nation or any group anywhere who opposes and fights” Israel.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei will deliver a speech on the occasion of the “International #QudsDay, which falls on May 22″, according to the Press TV channel.

Ukraine jet crash probe continues

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba renied media reports claiming that Iran is allegedly insisting Ukraine to drop legal action regarding the case of the Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737 plane that was by accident destroyed near Tehran in January, confirming that talks on the crash investigation continue.

Media reports about Iran’s memorandum should be viewed as … media reports. Negotiations are continuing. We are working to get black boxes. The key for us is to establish justice, pay compensation to families, and ensure accountability in accordance with international law”, Kuleba wrote on Facebook.

On April 15 earlier in the day , media reported that Iran sent a memorandum of understanding that would oblige Ukraine and families of the victims of the crash not to pursue judicial action against Tehran in return for compensation and revealing contents of the jet’s black boxes.

Last week, during a meeting with Canadian Ambassador to Kiev Larisa Galadza, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said that the flight recorders from the Boeing 737 plane could be returned to the country.

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