European Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete has met with Iranian Vice President Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran.
The European Commission and the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran are both stakeholders in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA), which prevents Iran from developing nuclear weapons in exchange for access to the European market.
The future of the JCPOA, which is also known as the Iran nuclear deal, was thrown into question earlier this month when the US announced an intention to withdraw from the agreement, and impose sanctions on Iran. European leaders have emphasised their commitment to keeping the deal in place, and Cañete met with Salehi last week to discuss continued implementation of the JCPoA.
What did the two leaders discuss?
The primary topic of discussion was the ongoing commitment of both the European Commission and the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran to implementing the JCPoA. In a joint press statement released following the meeting, the two leaders described the agreement as being ‘crucial for the development and progress of the region as well as the global peace and security’.
The two leaders welcomed the progress that has already been made in implementing the deal, and particularly the growing co-operative relationship between Iran and the EU. The two powers have established a roadmap for co-operation on nuclear energy projects, and Europe has opened its nuclear research programme to Iranian participation.
What does this collaboration involve?
The work being undertaken by the EU and the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran seeks to improve nuclear safety by bringing specialists from both sides together. Iranian specialists have contributed to the peer review of a stress test of a reactor under construction, a flagship nuclear energy project.
Other ongoing projects include stress testing of Iran’s first nuclear power plant, an effort to establish a nuclear safety centre in the country, and work to improve the capabilities of Iran’s Nuclear Regulatory Authority.