‘Ball in Europe’s court to save Iran deal after illegal US exit: Rouhani


Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has once again denounced the US withdrawal from the 2015 international nuclear deal, saying the ball is now in Europe’s court to make up for Washington’s absence and work to keep the landmark agreement alive.

Rouhani made the remarks on Tuesday during a meeting with Britain’s new Ambassador to Tehran Rob Macaire, who submitted his credentials to the Iranian president.

“Today, we are at a very important historic moment regarding the JCPOA,” Rouhani said, referring to the nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

The president said the European parties need to transparently declare what measures they intend to adopt in order to make up for Washington’s “illegal” pullout from the Iran deal.

On May 8, US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew Washington from the JCPOA despite objections from Europe as well as Russia and China — the other signatories to the deal.

The withdrawal entails the re-imposition of not only sanctions on Iran but also the so-called secondary sanctions on third countries.

However, the European parties have expressed their determination to maintain their business links with Iran and have presented Tehran with a package of incentives to help save the JCPOA.

Recently, the Trump White House announced that it seeks to bring Iran’s oil sales down to “zero.”

In response, Iran said that if it is rendered incapable of selling its oil, other countries in the region will face the same — a relatively implicit statement that was taken to mean that Iran may block its waters in the Strait of Hormuz, through which international oil cargoes pass.

“The Islamic Republic has never sought tension in the region and does not want any trouble in global waterways, but it will never easily give up on its right to export oil,” Rouhani said.

He also complained that some of the parties to the JCPOA are not fully implementing the terms of the deal in business and banking sectors.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran has always been ready to develop good relations with European countries, and now,  following the US illegal exit from the JCPOA, the ball is in Europe’s court in the limited time remaining,” he added.

In turn, the UK ambassador, whose country – along with France and Germany – is a party to the Iran deal, expressed London’s support for the JCPOA, saying the European states are making efforts to preserve the accord.

He also said the UK attaches great importance to Iran’s policy of reducing tensions in the region, and wants to develop its ties with the Islamic Republic.

He further noted that problems could be resolved through dialog and diplomacy.

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