This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.
The European Union will continue to work to preserve the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal but is open to any progress beyond it.
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini made the comments on August 30 in Helsinki during a meeting of EU foreign ministers that was expected to include discussions on the deal as well as the safety of shipping in the tense Persian Gulf.
“My role…is to preserve the full implementation of the existing agreements. Again if something else can be built on it, this would be welcomed and accompanied by the European Union,” Mogherini told reporters.
Mogherini was due later to hold talks on salvaging the agreement with the foreign ministers of Britain, France, and Germany — the European countries still adhering to the terms of the 2015 deal that required Iran to curb its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.
The deal has been in jeopardy since the United States withdrew from it last year and reimposed tough economic sanctions on Iran, seeking to push Tehran into wider security concessions including curbs on its ballistic missile program.
Meanwhile, tensions have intensified in and around the strategic Strait of Hormuz following moves by Iran to seize Western tankers.
Britain has joined Washington’s mission to protect commercial shipping on the crucial oil trade routes through the Persian Gulf.
Other European countries have been reluctant to join, fearing that a heightened naval presence in the region could risk escalating the situation and possibly lead to an armed conflict.