Iran is set to further cut its commitments to its international nuclear deal unless its European partners move to protect it from US sanctions by ensuring it can sell oil and receive income, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told state television Wednesday.
“Under current circumstances and if no action is taken [by the Europeans] we will take the next step [in cutting commitments],” Zarif said, adding that its European partners should guarantee Iran could sell its oil and collect the revenue.
Zarif said EU’s trade mechanism for Iran, dubbed ‘INSTEX’, is still in its preliminary stages and has yet to become operational. He stressed that once operational, the mechanism must cover Iran’s oil revenues, and not to become an instrument to cater to US’ orders.
“INSTEX is an instrument for the implementation of Europe’s commitments, especially after the US’ withdrawal from the nuclear deal,” said Zarif. “It is obvious that the mechanism cannot work according to US’ approval. It needs to be regarded as a European measure. Europe needs to show the courage to comply with its commitments not to cater to US’ orders. This is an issue that was discussed during the JCPOA meeting in Vienna.”
Zarif described the JCPOA meeting as ‘challenging’, saying it concluded with the participants once again reiterating their resolve to comply with their commitments; “Now we have to see how they’re going to do it,” he added.
“Under the current situation, and as long as Europe fails to take the necessary measures, Iran will definitely go ahead with the third phase of its reduction to JCPOA commitments,” Zarif stressed.
In May 2018, the US withdrew from Iran nuclear deal, officially known as the JCPOA, and re-imposed economic sanctions against Iran. Europe too has been throwing only verbal support behind the agreement ever since under Washington’s pressure, refusing to secure Iran’s economic interests under the agreement.
In reaction, Iran announced that it would suspend the implementation of some of its commitments under the deal to ‘balance’ the level of commitments from all sides. However, all the retaliatory measures would be reversed if the other parties to the agreement live up to their contractual obligations, according to President Rouhani.
Zarif went on to add, “The current tensions all stem from the US’ economic terrorism and Europe’s failure to live up to its commitments, which is in a sense in the same line as the economic terrorism.”
He then maintained that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s recent show of interest to talk with Iranian media is nothing but a political propaganda; “I’ve been informed that there have been many interview requests from Iranian media for American officials, but they have rejected them all,” he added.
About President Rouhani’s letter to French President Macron, Zarif said “what we mentioned [in the letter] was that the US has certain responsibilities. If it wants tensions to ease, it needs to comply with its commitments. The economic terrorism against the Iranian nation must stop. If US wants to return to the JCPOA, it needs to halt its pressure policy against Iran’s oil exports and allows the return of oil revenues to the country.”
“If Europeans, too, want to decrease tensions, they can start with complying with their commitments,” Zarif added.
Zarif then noted the telephone conversation between President Rouhani and President Macron last night, saying “Mr. Macron said that he will continue his consultations with European countries and the US. We are not opposed to talks. Talks will continue. We just hope that the path will move forward as the other sides live up to their commitments.”
Source: Iranian Agencies