The EU and Iran held a high-level seminar on 'International Nuclear Cooperation: Expectations and Responsibilities' in Brussels on 28 February and 1 March 2017.
The seminar was the result of a joint initiative of the European Commissioner for Energy and Climate Action Miguel Arias Cañete and Iranian Vice‑President Ali Akbar Salehi. The seminar represented an important element of the growing cooperation between Iran and the EU, following Implementation Day of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
The seminar was opened by Helga Schmid, Secretary-General of the European External Action Service, and Dominique Ristori, Director-General of the European Commission's Directorate‑General for Energy. On the Iranian side, a message was transmitted on behalf of Ali Akbar Salehi, Vice‑President and the Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, which was followed by Iran's opening remarks delivered by Behrouz Kamalvandi, Deputy Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, responsible for International, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.
The seminar was attended by a high‑level delegation from Iran, including prominent parliamentarians, as well as senior officials from the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran (AEOI) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Other participants included members of the European Parliament, representatives of the European Commission and the European External Action Service, and representatives of the E3+3 countries (China, France, Germany, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States of America) as well as the International Atomic Energy Agency.
After the seminar, the following press statement was released:
'The seminar allowed for fruitful exchanges between a high level delegation from Iran, including prominent parliamentarians, as well as senior officials from the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with participants from several European Commission services, the External Action Service, as well as representatives from third countries and the International Atomic Energy Agency.
In her opening remarks, Helga Schmid, Secretary-General of the European External Action Service stressed the important role of Annex III on nuclear co-operation for the successful implementation of the JCPOA. Dominique Ristori, Director-General of the European Commission's Directorate General for Energy, said that international civil nuclear co-operation can make a major contribution to ensuring the responsible use of nuclear energy. In a message transmitted on behalf of Ali Akbar Salehi, Vice President of Iran and Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, it was emphasized that the proactive framework for nuclear cooperation established by the JCPOA, ranging from research and development to nuclear safety, promises a bright future for further cooperation in different peaceful nuclear fields. Behrouz Kamalvandi, Deputy Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, responsible for International, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, particularly highlighted that further promotion and expansion of cooperation in the nuclear field will have a positive impact on the state of relations on a much larger economic-industrial level, particularly in the field of energy, and even on a political level.
From the discussions, a common understanding emerged that Annex III on nuclear co-operation provides a sound framework for working together in the nuclear area, and that implementation of Annex III will play a crucial role in the successful implementation of the JCPOA. The existing and growing co-operation between Iran and the EU in a number of areas demonstrates the effectiveness of this framework for further co-operation.
The seminar provided also a good opportunity to review in detail the latest developments in the area of nuclear governance, including nuclear safety, at the international, regional and national levels, and to share lessons learned among the participants. The seminar strengthened the clear understanding that international nuclear co-operation and nuclear governance are mutually reinforcing elements which are complementary and should be developed in parallel in order to optimise benefits for all sides.
Both sides agreed to continue to strengthen co-operation and to meet again at a follow-up seminar to be organised in Esfahan before the end of this year.'