Tag Archives: Iran

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.

G7: Borrell insists on aid to Iranians

EU top diplomt Josep Borrell participated in a G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting that took place via video-teleconference call on Wednesday, 25 March.

“The discussion focussed on the international response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The High Representative Borrell (pictured) stressed that the pandemic represented a global challenge of unprecedented nature, with far-reaching consequences for the economic and geopolitical spheres, which required a global response. He underlined the importance of a strongly coordinated and multilateral approach, while stepping up international cooperation and providing humanitarian assistance to most affected countries, with a particular view to Africa. High Representative also stressed the need to ensure that citizens receive correct information related to the pandemic, that special measures are consistent with democratic values and that all countries share an interest in pushing back against disinformation and false narratives. 

“During the meeting, several other foreign policy and security issues were addressed, including those related to Iran, Syria, the regional situation in the Gulf and Middle East, Libya, Sahel, Afghanistan, security in the EU neighbourhood and in Asia. The importance of enhancing international cooperation in multilateral frameworks was also highlighted by Borrell.

“On Iran, the High Representative drew the attention of G7 partners to the difficult situation in the country because of the COVID-19 outbreak, the potential spill-over to neighbouring countries and the need to step up assistance to the Iranian people as a matter of priority. In this regard, he clarified that humanitarian aid and medical services are outside of the scope of sanctions. He underlined the importance of an effective response, including through unimpeded humanitarian assistance and stimulus measures in view of the dramatic impact of the outbreak on the livelihoods of ordinary Iranian people. The EU top diplomat supports Iran´s request for aid from the IMF and the need for avoiding any punitive measures in addressing the pandemic. He also addressed the state of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA). He stressed the need to preserve the deal and for full implementation of the JCPoA by all sides. He also referred to the ongoing efforts by the EU to contribute to de-escalation and pursue stability in the wider region.

“The High Representative highlighted the necessity of renewed international efforts in order to address the Syrian crisis and pave the way for a political solution. He reaffirmed the EU’s focus on addressing the humanitarian situation and informed G7 partners that the EU will again organise a Brussels Conference for the Future of Syria and the region.

“The High Representative agreed to stay in close contact with all G7 counterparts in the coming weeks and months, in order to ensure close international coordination and cooperation on all of the pressing issues.”

JCPOA: diplomats reiterate strong support to non-proliferation

“A meeting of the Joint Commission of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) took place in Vienna on 26 February 2020. Under the terms of the JCPOA, the Joint Commission is responsible for overseeing the implementation of the agreement” reads the statement of Josep BorrellFontelles, who chaired the meeting of the Joint Commission.

“The Joint Commission was chaired, on behalf of EU High Representative Josep Borrell Fontelles, by EEAS Secretary General Helga-Maria Schmid and was attended by representatives of China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and Iran at the level of Ambassadors/ Political Directors/Deputy Foreign Ministers. 

“The meeting addressed both Iran’s steps in reducing its nuclear commitments under the JCPOA including its announcement of 5 January 2020, as well as longstanding concerns, recognised by all participants, regarding the impact of the US withdrawal from the agreement in 2018 and the re-imposition of sanctions by it.

“In this context, serious concerns were expressed regarding the implementation of Iran’s nuclear commitments under the agreement. Participants also acknowledged that the re-imposition of US sanctions did not allow Iran to reap the full benefits arising from sanctions-lifting. 

“All participants reaffirmed the importance of preserving the agreement recalling that it is a key element of the global nuclear non-proliferation architecture.

“As a follow up to the statement of the High Representative of 24 January 2020 participants reviewed expert-level discussions which have taken place in different formats in past weeks, both as regards nuclear implementation issues and the wider impacts of the withdrawal of the US from the JCPOA and its re-imposition of sanctions and benefits arising from sanctions-lifting. Experts were tasked to take these discussions forward”.

“Participants welcomed positive developments in the processing of first transactions by INSTEX and the addition of four European countries as new shareholders, with more to follow, while acknowledging the importance of further strengthening the instrument.

“Participants reiterated their strong support and collective responsibility for the continuation of key nuclear non-proliferation projects that are an essential part of the JCPOA.

“They welcomed continued efforts by the Arak Working Group Co-Chairs, China and the United Kingdom, in taking the Arak Modernisation Project forward. They took note of recent developments concerning the Fordow facility and expressed strong support for the work of Russia in continuing the implementation of the stable isotope project.

“The meeting took place against the background of the COVID-19 outbreak. Participants expressed their solidarity with China, Iran and all countries affected, in their efforts to address the outbreak and, in particular, the contribution of China and those later affected to the global fight against this public health challenge.”

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