A senior Iranian nuclear negotiator says the Europeans need to bear the cost of standing up to US sanctions and other pressure tactics in order to keep the 2015 nuclear agreement with Tehran alive following Washington’s unilateral pullout.
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi pointed to the ongoing efforts by Tehran’s partners to save the Iran deal and said, “That the Europeans stand against the US politically and for Iran’s sake would not come about at a low price.”
“On the other hand, it will not be an easy task [for the Europeans] to find operational ways” to meet Iran’s conditions and keep it in the deal as the US has “put the screws on.”
US President Donald Trump pulled his country out of the Iran deal despite objections from the other signatories, re-imposing the anti-Iran sanctions which were lifted under the agreement, called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Washington has threatened punitive measures against the European firms doing business with Tehran should they fail to leave the Iranian market in compliance with its bans.
Tehran has said it will stay in the deal only if it is provided with “practical guarantees” that its economic dividends of the deal will remain intact.
France says Europe is unlikely to put together an economic package for Iran before November as Tehran urges “verifiable and actionable commitments.”
In turn, the Europeans have vowed efforts to protect their business links with Iran in the face of US pressure.
They are now working to finalize an economic package to meet Iran’s conditions and keep it in the JCPOA.
Araqchi further warned that the Islamic Republic would withdraw from the nuclear deal if the Europeans fail by November 5 to design a mechanism to safeguard Iran’s main interests in the accord, including oil sales and banking payments.
He was referring to the date when the second round of US sanctions against Iran will return.
If the Europeans fail to put these mechanisms in action until that time, “it is natural that remaining in the JCPOA would be fruitless,” the Iranian official stated.
“They are aware that if they fail to give guarantees and find the solution, we will not remain in the JCPOA,” he added.
It would be useful for Iran to stay in the deal as long as it can sell its oil more or less, Araqchi said.
Ayatollah Khamenei says Iran will “set aside” the 2015 nuclear deal if it is no longer in the country’s national interests.
He also echoed recent remarks by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, who warned that Iran will leave the nuclear accord if it fails to serve its interests.
“The JCPOA has economic, political and international benefits for us and we would remain in it until these interests are preserved,” the Leader pointed out.
Iran has lodged a complaint with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) over Washington’s move to re-impose sanctions against Tehran.