Iran can defuse crisis by sticking to nuclear deal

Faced with protests over the accidental downing of a Ukrainian jetliner, Iran could calm tensions at home and abroad by following the nuclear agreement with Europe, says Michael Gahler, EPP Group Foreign Affairs spokesman. If not, Iran should face new sanctions, he states.

Gahler took part in the European Parliament´s debate on Middle East developments during its latest plenary session.

He also urges international troops to stay in Iraq, despite the call by Iraq´s Parliament to pull them out. This follows the US killing of an Iranian general with ties to extremist militias waging attacks in the region.

After the unfortunate shooting down of a Ukrainian aircraft, the Iranian regime has every reason to impress the international community and return to the application of the nuclear deal.

"It is in their interest to resume the application of the nuclear treaty”, said Gahler ahead of this week's plenary debate on the situation in Iran and Iraq.

He insisted that as long as Iran observes its commitments under the nuclear treaty, the EU will not impose any additional sanctions on Tehran. “If the Iranian authorities do what is expected in this regard, there is no need for additional sanctions. If they continue to refuse the application of the nuclear treaty, we will need to reconsider our position”, he added.

“We also call on the Iranian authorities to make full clarity on the circumstances of the tragic downing of the Ukrainian plane and allow for an international, transparent and independent investigation of the crash”, he stressed.

Gahler insisted that the EU and NATO should maintain their presence in Iraq, despite current tensions which followed the US killing in Iraq of the Iranian senior General Qasem Soleimani.

“We need to preserve our presence in Iraq, because the fight against ISIS needs to be continued and the Iraqi army is unable to do it alone. The Iraqi Government needs international partners to help it establish a functioning state. I hope that through the ongoing talks, the government in Baghdad comes to the conclusion that some international presence is needed in the country”, Gahler concluded.

Image: By European Parliament from EU - Debate: MEPs call for measures against Turkey following military operation in Syria, CC BY 2.0,

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Martin Banks

Martin Banks

Martin Banks is a highly qualified journalist with many years experience of working within the EU institutions. He is an occasional, and highly valued, contributor to EU today, writing on a wide variety of issues.

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