Mohammad Javad Zarif
Mohammad Javad ZarifReuters

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Sunday that the Europeans have shown no willingness to invest what is necessary to maintain the 2015 nuclear agreement between his country and world powers.

"There is a big difference between expressing willingness and willingness to invest," Zarif told reporters in New York, according to Kan News.

Iran has threatened to abandon further nuclear commitments under the 2015 deal unless the partners remaining after the US withdrew last year -- Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia -- helped it circumvent US sanctions, especially to sell its oil.

Several weeks ago, Iran met in Vienna with European, Russian and Chinese officials to discuss ways to save the 2015 nuclear following the US withdrawal.

Iran’s envoy to the meeting in Vienna said that European countries had offered too little to persuade Tehran to back off from its plans to breach limits imposed by the deal.

The EU earlier this year introduced a trade mechanism that would bypass US sanctions on Iran, in a bid to save the 2015 deal, but Iran has rejected that mechanism thus far.

Zarif was in New York to attend a UN meeting, and his visit was made possible after the US granted him a visa, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Sunday.

The sources said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had approved the decision.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on June 24 that Zarif would be blacklisted as part of sanctions targeting Iranian leaders announced by President Donald Trump.

Last week, however, officials said the US has decided not to sanction Zarif for now, leaving open the possible of future negotiations with the Islamic Republic.