Zarif: EU not ready to 'pay the price' of defying Washington

Iran's Foreign Minister says Europe has not yet shown willingness to save 2015 nuclear deal.

Elad Benari,

Mohammad Javad Zarif
Mohammad Javad Zarif
Reuters

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Sunday that Europe had not yet shown it was willing to "pay the price" of defying Washington in order to save the 2015 nuclear deal, AFP reported.

Zarif said European governments had put forward proposals to maintain oil and banking ties with Iran after the second phase of U.S. sanctions return in November.

Speaking to Iran's Young Journalist Club website, the Iranian Foreign Minister said that these measures were more "a statement of their position than practical measures."

"Although they have moved forward, we believe that Europe is not yet ready to pay the price (of truly defying the U.S.)," Zarif said.

In May, U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of the 2015 deal under which sanctions on Iran were lifted in return for curbs to its nuclear program.

He recently signed an executive order officially reinstating U.S. sanctions against Iran.

The sanctions target Iran's access to American dollars and steel and automobile industries, ban trade with Iran in gold and other precious metals, and include other sanctions which were lifted under the 2015 deal.

Additional sanctions will be imposed on November 4, targeting Iran's oil and shipping industries.

The European signatories to the deal did not agree with Trump’s decision to leave the deal and have been trying to save the accord, which they see as crucial to forestalling an Iranian nuclear weapon.

Tehran has demanded that Europe come up with an economic package to offset the effects of the U.S. withdrawal but so far has found Europe’s proposals to be unsatisfactory.

"Iran can respond to Europe's political will when it is accompanied by practical measures," Zarif said on Sunday.

"Europeans say the JCPOA (nuclear deal) is a security achievement for them. Naturally each country must invest and pay the price for its security. We must see them paying this price in the coming months," he added.








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