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Zarif Says Iran Could Reverse Nuclear Breaches If Europe Acts

Zarif Says Iran Could Reverse Nuclear Breaches If Europe Acts

Sunday, 16 February, 2020 - 12:30
The Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif with Ukrainian counterpart Vadym Prystaiko (IRNA)

Iran would be willing to move back towards the 2015 nuclear deal (JCPOA) if Europe provides "meaningful" economic benefits, announced Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif on the sidelines of Munich Security Conference (MSC).

Zarif met with members of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) in Munich where they discussed the nuclear deal, Europe's obligations under the deal, and regional and international issues.

He pointed out that Iran is ready to return from reducing its nuclear obligations if Europe abides by its obligations and takes practical steps in this field.

The Iranian FM also met his Ukrainian counterpart Vadym Prystaiko on Saturday and reviewed issues related to the Ukrainian plane crash in Tehran that claimed the lives of all passengers on board on January 3.

During the meeting, both sides discussed the continuation of cooperation on inquiry into the disaster, and conferred on the efforts made to reduce the sufferings of the victims, according to IRNA news agency.

The Iranian air defenses unintentionally downed a Ukrainian Boeing 737 near Tehran, minuted after it took off, killing all 167 passengers.

Zarif earlier held talks with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on bilateral relations and issues of mutual concern, and his Canadian counterpart Francois-Philippe Champagne.

The FM also acknowledged that Iran was not able to extract information from the black box from the Ukrainian airliner, but said that Tehran will not hand over the box to foreign governments.

Speaking during an interview with NBC, Zarif stated that under international aviation rules, Iran had the right to lead the investigation into the downing of the airliner.

But he said Tehran needed software, cables and additional expertise from the US or other Western countries to be able to decipher the information in the black box.

"We have asked for help, why haven't the United States helped us? This is a humanitarian issue. Why haven't they given us the software? Why haven't they given us the expertise?" Zarif said.

He admitted there are still a lot of unknowns and more than anybody else, Iran wants to know what is in the black box and what actually happened.

NBC asked Zarif whether anyone is working on the black box or trying to decipher it. The FM asserted that Iran will not “touch the black box without the presence of all interested parties.”

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