Iran's Zarif hails 'will to resist' USA pressure on nuclear deal

09 July, 2018, 07:27 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
  • David Peterlin

Zarif met with High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini on Friday morning in Vienna's Palais Coburg Hotel, hours before the start of another meeting of the JCPOA Joint Commission which is going to be held, there, with the presence of foreign ministers of 5 countries (UK, France, Russia, China plus Germany).

The foreign companies which do business with Tehran could face sanctions by the United States, making the investors reluctant to follow EU's suggestions to keep their business ties with Tehran.

"All the members, even the three allies, have committed and have the political will to take action and resist the United States", Iran's Foreign Minister Zarif told a Vienna news conference broadcast by the Fars news agency.

"We expect Europe to offer a clear operational program with a specific timeframe in order to be able to compensate for the USA pullout from the Iran nuclear deal", Rouhani said.

Washington has warned other countries to end trade and investment in Iran and stop buying its oil by early November or face punitive measures.

Describing the Friday meeting as important, Iranian officials have said that key for them is to ensure measures that guarantee oil exports do not halt, and that Tehran still has access to the SWIFT global bank payments messaging system.

"If the process of the European foreign ministers' meeting in Vienna, which is aimed at encouraging Iran to cooperate, is promising, we will continue our cooperation", he said.

During a telephone call with the French President, Emmanuel Macron, Mr Rohani stated that "Europe's proposed package to Iran for continued cooperation as part of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA - the official abbreviation of the agreement, editor's note) does not meet all of the demands of the Islamic Republic".


German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas conceded that "we won't be able to compensate for all the effects of enterprises withdrawing from Iran because they see their American business interests threatened by the sanctions".

"We all know that we want to stay in the nuclear deal, and we believe that we should keep talks in a quite atmosphere", she said. The rial currency has fallen, prices have risen and the country has been hit by street protests and strikes.

Rouhani, who signed the nuclear deal, has been attacked at home by ultra-conservatives, who have denounced his willingness to talk to the West and accused him of hurting the economy. "We expect a clear action plan from Europe with a timetable so it can compensate for the USA exit from the deal".

US President Donald Trump announced on May 8 that Washington was pulling out of the nuclear agreement.

Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has vowed that Iran "will never tolerate both suffering from sanctions and nuclear restrictions". Iran has said it had nothing to do with the plot and has demanded the official be released without delay.

The large rally last Saturday attracted several U.S. politicians, including former NY mayor Rudy Giuliani, now Trump's personal lawyer.

Six people were arrested in Belgium, France and Germany, while the opposition group blamed the Iranian regime for the alleged plot.

Tehran dismissed it is an orchestrated "false flag ploy", created to discredit Iran and overshadow Rouhani's trip to Europe.

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