Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi has warned that Tehran’s patience is running out over the failure of the European Union’s economic pledges to deliver any “tangible results.”
Salehi, who is in the Belgian capital of Brussels to attend the third seminar on peaceful nuclear cooperation, made the remarks in an interview with Reuters on Tuesday ahead of a meeting with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini in Brussels.
He said the EU’s efforts were encouraging but added: “We have not yet seen any tangible results.”
“So, they [Europeans] are promising us that they are doing their best to be able to translate all that they have said in political terms and to turn it into realization, in other words, to materialize what they have said,” Salehi said.
“So, we wait and see. But I will pass certainly a word of caution to her (Mogherini) that I think the period of patience for our people is getting more limited and limited,” he added.
“We are running out of the assumed timeline, which was in terms of months.”
US President Donald Trump withdrew his country in May from the multilateral nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and decided to re-impose unilateral sanctions against Tehran.
Under the deal, reached between Iran and six major powers – the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China – Tehran agreed to put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions.
Earlier this month, the Trump administration announced the re-imposition of the “toughest” sanctions ever against Iran’s banking and energy sectors with the aim of cutting off the country’s oil sales and crucial exports.
A first round of American sanctions took effect in August, targeting Iran’s access to the US dollar, metals trading, coal, industrial software, and auto sector.
The US administration hoped to get the other parties to the deal with Iran to likewise scrap the deal, but instead, they stressed that not only would they stick to the agreement, but they would also work to sustain it in the face of increased US pressure. Europeans believe that the nuclear deal is an important element of international security.