Left to right: French Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini give a press conference at the EU headquarters in Brussels on January 11, 2018. (AFP PHOTO/JOHN THYS)
European Union ministers presented a united stance Thursday in Brussels in support of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, with German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel warning that dismantling it could embolden North Korea’s nuclear aspiration.
Gabriel met with his French, British and Iranian counterparts as the United States decision loomed on whether to back out of the landmark pact, which placed limits on Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for the relaxing of punishing sanctions.
Asked if there is a threat to the deal due to US President Donald Trump’s opposition, Gabriel replied: “We are convinced that the JCPOA has to be preserved. It is in Europe’s interest. It is in the interest of the international community,” referring to the deal by its technical acronym.
“If the only agreement of this kind is smashed it would send a very dangerous signal to others. We see a dramatic development in North Korea, which is striving for nuclear weapons. This is why we Europeans think it is imperative to preserve the agreement,” Gabriel said, adding that the deal had “fenced in an acute crisis” and was now “a central part of our security” for Europeans.