Federica Mogherini, who ends his post as foreign policy chief of EU in 2019, cited the departure of the US from nuclear deal with Iran in 2018 as one of the most important events this year.
'You have called for Europe to defend its sovereignty by, for example, creating new structures that would allow it to continue to adhere to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran,' Mogherini said in response to a question.
She also asked the question whether will such structures actually work, and could the special-purpose vehicle to maintain trade with Iran be used to counter other US sanctions.
'We are working, as a union of 28 member-states and with the rest of the international community, to preserve a nuclear agreement that has so far been implemented in full, as certified by the International Atomic Energy Agency in 13 consecutive reports,' Mogherini added.
The EU foreign policy chief added, 'We do this because of our collective security: we do not want to see Iran developing a nuclear weapon, and the JCPOA is delivering precisely on that purpose. I start by saying this because I often hear that, on this issue, Europe is motivated mainly by economic or trade considerations. That is not the case: we do this to prevent a nuclear non-proliferation agreement that is working from being dismantled, and to prevent a major security crisis in the Middle East.”
She said, “Part of this work requires us to guarantee that firms wanting to do legitimate business with Iran are allowed to do so.
Mogherini went on to say that this is what 'we are working on right now: tools that will assist, protect, and reassure economic actors pursuing legitimate business with Iran'.
She reiterated that It is true that the current situation has triggered a conversation on European economic sovereignty.
“We (Europeans) cannot accept that a foreign power —even our closest friend and ally—makes decisions over our legitimate trade with another country. This is a basic element of sovereignty, and it is only natural that this reflection takes place, not only in Europe, but in other parts of the world, too,' the top diplomat stressed.