Zarif: Failure to save nuclear deal would be very dangerous

Iran's Foreign Minister warns that failure to save 2015 nuclear deal would be "very dangerous" for Tehran.

Elad Benari ,

Mohammad Javad Zarif
Mohammad Javad Zarif

Iran's Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, warned on Sunday that failure to save the nuclear deal after the exit of the United States would be "very dangerous" for Tehran, AFP reported.

President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the deal in May, thus reimposing sanctions on Iran that were lifted when the deal was agreed upon in 2015.

The other parties to the deal -- Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia -- have vowed to stay in the accord but appear powerless to stop their companies pulling out of Iran for fear of US penalties.

"Failure of the JCPOA (nuclear deal) would be very dangerous for us," Zarif told members of the Iran Chamber of Commerce on Sunday, quoted by the official IRNA news agency.

"This is certainly not the (Iranian political) system's choice," added Zarif, one of the architects of the nuclear pact.

Tehran has demanded that Europe come up with an economic package to offset the effects of the U.S. withdrawal.

The head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, Ali Akbar Salehi, last week said that Europe’s proposals to salvage the nuclear deal were not satisfying for Tehran.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani last week declared that the Iranian people “will never surrender in the face of the plots and pressure of the American government” following the U.S. withdrawal from the deal.

Rouhani previously warned world powers that it was impossible for Tehran to stay in the nuclear deal if it cannot benefit from it after the U.S. withdrawal.

“If Iran cannot benefit from the (nuclear) deal, then it’s practically impossible to stay in the accord,” Rouhani told French President Emmanuel Macron.

The Iranian President is expected to visit Switzerland and Austria in July as part of Iran's efforts to secure continued European support for the deal, according to AFP.

Iran has warned it is ready to resume uranium enrichment to 20 percent "within days" if the deal falls apart.