More security in the Middle East

Flags of the European Union, Iran, France, Germany and the UK

Flags of the European Union, Iran, France, Germany and the UK, © Florian Gaertner/photothek.net

26.09.2018 - Article

Why upholding the Vienna agreement on the Iranian nuclear programme is so important.

The nuclear agreement with Iran is one of the central topics during the General Assembly of the United Nations. Germany is working with its partners to keep the agreement in place.

On the eve of this year’s United Nations General Assembly, the representatives of the parties to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the so‑called E3/EU+2 and Iran, met in New York. The interlocutors agreed to continue to work to uphold the agreement following the withdrawal of the United States in May 2018.


The talks centred on the question of how trade with Iran can still remain possible in spite of US sanctions. To this end, payment channels need to be kept open. Iran has committed itself to using its nuclear programme exclusively for civilian purposes and to allow international monitoring. IAEA inspectors have repeatedly confirmed that Iran is complying with the stipulated conditions.

Why is the agreement so important?

Foreign Minister Maas said after the meeting in New York:

The Vienna nuclear agreement creates greater security for the region – also for us in Europe. We are well‑advised to protect what has been achieved through many years of great diplomatic effort. We are getting considerable international support for this position. Many countries believe, like we do, that there are good reasons to uphold the agreement.

It creates security in the region – also in Europe.

Germany and the other parties to the agreement hold the view that the JCPOA with Iran is a guarantee for security in the Middle East and in the regional neighbourhood. Thanks to Iran’s pledge to stop developing nuclear weapons, it has been possible to prevent nuclear escalation of the conflicts in the region.

It shows that conflicts can be defused by diplomatic efforts.

The JCPOA is the outcome of many years of diplomatic negotiations. It is a symbol of how international conflicts can be resolved without military intervention.

It strengthens the international system of nuclear non-proliferation.

The JCPOA is one component of an international system that restricts the development, distribution and deployment of nuclear weapons worldwide. Compliance with it therefore serves as a role model for compliance with other treaties and agreements.

Additional content

In signing the Vienna agreement of 14 July 2015, the E3/EU+3 countries and Iran reached consensus on a long‑term settlement of the nuclear dispute, following more than 12 years of contention.

The Vienna Nuclear Agreement


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