Sunday, July 14, 2024

Official says EU likely to keep missile sanctions on Iran

A European official has stated he expects no difficulty persuading EU states to maintain ballistic missile sanctions on Tehran that are due to expire in October. Iran says keeping the bans in place beyond that time, runs counter to international law.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said on Tuesday he sees a window of opportunity by the end of 2023 to try to negotiate a de-escalatory nuclear deal with Iran.

“We may have a small window of opportunity to try to resume discussions with them on (a) return to the JCPOA or at least to an agreement of de-escalation … before the end of the year,” the official told reporters in Washington.

Asked if Britain, France and Germany, which were parties to the 2015 agreement, had convinced the rest of EU to keep the ballistic missile sanctions, the European official replied: “It’s nearly agreed. I am not expecting difficulties.”

In June, sources told Reuters that European diplomats had informed Iran they planned to retain EU ballistic missile sanctions set to expire in October under the nuclear agreement, a step they said could provoke Iranian retaliation.

Iranian officials say the country’s missile activities are conventional, defensive and totally legitimate in accordance with international law.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has reaffirmed that his administration will stick to Tehran’s policy of not sitting for talks over its ballistic missile program.

The country’s missile program is not negotiable, he stressed.

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