Poland an informal EU-US mediator on Iran - PM

Poland has become something like an informal mediator between the EU and the US following US President Donald Trump's withdrawal from a nuclear agreement with Iran, PM Mateusz Morawiecki said on Tuesday.

Two weeks ago President Trump withdrew the US from a 2015 multi-national nuclear agreement with Iran also signed by France, Britain, China, Russia and Germany. The agreement foresaw restrictions in Iran's nuclear programme in return for the gradual lifting of Western sanctions against the country.

Explaining his decision, Trump called the agreement a failure and announced new and severe sanctions against Iran. On Monday the US Secretary of State appealed for a new nuclear accord with Iran.

The agreement's EU signatories are for continuing the agreement.

Commenting the matter at a press conference following Tuesday's government sitting, Morawiecki said Trump's withdrawal from the accord despite its EU signatories' will to carry it on created a "stalemate" in which Poland had become something like an "informal mediator" between the US and Brussels. He added that Poland was playing "a constructive and positive role towards both sides".

Morawiecki said Poland's proposal in the matter at a recent EU leaders' summit in Sofia was to focus on those aspects of Teheran's nuclear programme that caused concern, including a ballistic missile project generally seen as a security threat. He also mentioned the EU's concern about Iran's activities in the Middle East.

Asked about Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz's "hazy" position in the matter during a recent US visit, Morawiecki said Czaputowicz had only confirmed the position adopted by Poland at the Sofia meeting. Czaputowicz, who on Monday discussed Iran with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington, said after the talks that Poland will try to convince other EU members to view the matter not only through the prism of their economic interests in Iran, but also security concerns.

"Now that President Trump has pulled the US out of the agreement, Poland has become something like an informal mediator between Washington and Brussels regarding relations with Iran. Our proposal, which I recently outlined in Sofia, is to concentrate on those aspects of the (Iranian nuclear - PAP) programme and relations with Iran that awaken general concern," Morawiecki explained.