Current Iran Agreement Could Be `Basis for Future Work,' EU Says

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(Bloomberg) -- The European Union reiterated its commitment to the Iran nuclear agreement while saying the current accord could be “a basis for future work.”

The 28-nation bloc and its biggest members are trying to preserve the deal after Donald Trump last week announced the U.S.’s withdrawal from the 2015 agreement. Officials from Germany, Britain and France are due to meet with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif in Brussels on Tuesday, and EU leaders are scheduled to discuss Iran at an informal dinner in Sofia on Wednesday.

“The idea is to keep the current agreement in place,” Maja Kocijancic, EU spokeswoman for foreign affairs, told reporters in Brussels on Monday. “That could be used as a basis for future work.”

Kocijancic stressed that the 2015 accord is functioning, with results that have been certified by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

“We have an agreement that has been the result of 12 years of intense diplomatic efforts, that has been endorsed by the UN Security Council,” Kocijancic said. “We believe that this agreement should continue to be implemented as long as Iran sticks to the nuclear commitments.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron last week urged Iran to stick to its commitments under the nuclear accord. U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May joined in the push in a phone call with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday. May told Rouhani that the three EU governments will present Zarif with a “package of initiatives” to protect the agreement’s implementation.

“We have the agreement; it has worked in the past; it has provided us with results,” the EU’s Kocijancic said. “So we are going to do as much as we can to keep it alive.”

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