Koenders: Nuclear agreement with Iran is important milestone

Foreign minister Bert Koenders is pleased with the detailed and comprehensive agreement reached in Vienna today between Iran and the E3+3 (Germany, France, the UK, the US, Russia and China, headed by the EU). ‘The agreement opens up new opportunities. It is a victory for diplomacy, as the parties have found a way to allay international concerns about Iran’s nuclear programme,’ he said. ‘I’d like to congratulate the negotiators, in particular High Representative Federica Mogherini, who led the most recent negotiations.’Foreign minister Bert Koenders is pleased with the detailed and comprehensive agreement reached in Vienna today between Iran and the E3+3 (Germany, France, the UK, the US, Russia and China, headed by the EU). ‘The agreement opens up new opportunities. It is a victory for diplomacy, as the parties have found a way to allay international concerns about Iran’s nuclear programme,’ he said. ‘I’d like to congratulate the negotiators, in particular High Representative Federica Mogherini, who led the most recent negotiations.’

The parties negotiated for more than a decade on Iran’s nuclear programme. After Iranian president Hassan Rouhani’s election in 2013, the talks gained momentum. Following an interim agreement in late 2013, consensus was reached this April on the main points of a comprehensive agreement. The parties have now worked out the details, resulting in a detailed, technical agreement comprising many dozens of pages. ‘Of course the first thing we must do now is study the details,’ said Mr Koenders.

It is important to start implementing the agreement as soon as possible and to ensure full compliance. Verification by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will be vital. ‘The Netherlands will do its part where necessary to make this happen,’ said the minister. The Netherlands has previously contributed almost €500,000 to the IAEA for monitoring the implementation of the interim agreement.

The present agreement lays the foundation for better relations between Iran and the international community. Sanctions against Iran will be lifted in phases, offering the Iranian people the prospect of an improved economic situation. Should Iran fail to comply with the agreement, the sanctions will be reinstated.
Mr Koenders described the agreement as an important milestone that sets limits on Iran’s nuclear programme and prevents it from developing nuclear weapons. ‘This can put an end to one of the greatest security threats we currently face,’ he said.