EU Foreign Affairs Chief to Visit Iran Next Week

EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini announced Thursday that she would visit Iran as part of her next Middle East tour.

According to German news agency DPA, Mogherini will visit both Iran and Saudi Arabia next week, traveling to the latter first before moving on to Tehran.

According to a statement by her office, Mogherini said that she would on Monday discuss with Riyadh “regional issues in the aftermath of the agreement reached … on the Iranian nuclear issue."

She will move on to Iran the next day, for “exchanges on the implementation of the agreement,” with discussions expected to be held with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and other officials.

With the “opening” of Iran to the West in the wake of the new nuclear agreement, Mogherini joins other European officials who have already or plan in the near future to visit Iran.

On Sunday, German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, who is also Germany's economy minister, led a large delegation of business officials to Iran.

Under the Iran nuclear deal struck last week, sanctions imposed by the United States, European Union and United Nations will be lifted in exchange for Iran agreeing to curb its nuclear program, which the West contends is intended to make a nuclear bomb. Tehran has always denied seeking nuclear arms.

Gabriel praised the agreement as "a first big step" and said it was now possible for trade between the countries to increase.

"The agreement reached between the E3+3 and Iran in Vienna has laid the foundations for a normalization of economic relations with Iran," Gabriel said, referring to the six world powers – normally called the P5+1 – which negotiated with Iran.

"The precondition for this is that the steps foreseen in the agreement are now implemented," he added, according to Reuters.

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/198526

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