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US pullout from Iran deal an American scandal: Zarif

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the United States’ unilateral withdrawal from a multilateral nuclear deal with Iran has proven to be a “scandal” for America and shows how much the deal serves Iran’s interests.

At the Iranian Parliament to respond to questions from lawmakers on Monday, Foreign Minister Zarif said no deal would meet all of a negotiating party’s demands.

Still, he said, the Iran deal proved to have been negotiated “with such solidity” that the US pullout has become a “scandal” for America.

“Today, we can see, that, by the grace of God, the JCPOA was so much in favor of Iran’s interests that America withdrew from it scandalously,” Zarif said, using the official abbreviation for the Iran deal, which stands for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

“If you follow the news from the entire world, you can see [a reflection of how] the US has had to walk back many of its claims,” the Iranian foreign minister said. “They (the Americans) made a lot of noise, saying they would bring Iran’s oil sales down to zero by today. [And yet,] they put out a statement giving six more months [to Iran’s oil clients].”

He said the US had aimed to create a consensus against Iran over the JCPOA, but the deal was so strong that they failed.

Iran struck the deal with originally six world powers — including the US under the former administration of president Barack Obama — and the European Union back in 2015, agreeing to curb its nuclear program in return for the lifting of restrictions mainly on its oil sales.

In May, US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the deal. While he hoped for it to collapse, the deal continues to be implemented by all the other parties.

Europe, in particular, is working with Iran on a financial channel that would bypass the US financial system and pave the way for continued trade between the continent and Iran, including the purchase of oil.


Meanwhile, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman said also on Monday that work on that mechanism, referred to as a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), was going smoothly.

Speaking at a press briefing, Bahram Qassemi said SPV was a complex mechanism and it was being worked out with due care.

He said the outlines of the SPV would soon be announced. Earlier, he had said Iran and its partners would not reveal the details of the mechanism to avoid potential sabotage.

‘US wishes will not come true’

Referring to the implementation of the new US sanctions, Qassemi said the measures — all of them adopted unilaterally — were another sign of America’s isolation.

“These sanctions mark the advent of further American isolation…, since they are applied by America only and not by the (United Nations) Security Council and the entire world,” the spokesman said.

“America’s dreams are nothing that would come true, and these measures (the sanctions) are indicative of the US officials’ inadequate knowledge of regional and global matters,” he said elsewhere during the briefing.

Qassemi also noted that the era of American bullying and unilateralism was over.

“Sooner or later, we should expect a change in the US behavior. This country cannot reach its desired goals by isolating itself.”

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