Published: Mon, July 09, 2018
Worldwide | By Stella Potter

Iran considers Europe's offer to salvage nuclear agreement insufficient

Iran considers Europe's offer to salvage nuclear agreement insufficient

He wanted Friday's meeting in Vienna of the foreign affairs ministers of the five countries committed to the agreement (Germany, China, France, United Kingdom and Russia), with their Iranian counterpart, to "enable the fulfilment of all of the Iranian demands for [Iran's] continued cooperation as part of the agreement".

Following a meeting in Vienna on Friday to save Iran's nuclear deal, European powers including China and Russian Federation, said that they support Iran's right to exporting oil and gas, despite threats of sanctions by the US. Washington has since told countries they must stop buying the Opec producer's oil from November 4 or face financial consequences.

The other partners so far appear powerless to stop their countries' companies pulling out of Iran for fear of U.S. penalties.

In calls with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said since the United States withdrawal "Iran has been dealing with economic issues and problems in banking relations and oil" and that foreign companies were "skeptical" about continuing their business, Iran's semi-official Mehr news agency reported.

Foreign ministers from the remaining signatories met in Vienna today to work around continuing U.S. efforts to kill the deal, but U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, was missing.

Iran has proved that its nuclear activities have always been peaceful, Rouhani said, referring to the IAEA reports issued following the signing of the 2015 landmark nuclear deal, known officially as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

"We will not be able to compensate for everything that arises from companies pulling out of Iran", Heiko Maas told reporters before a round of talks among the remaining parties to the deal.

"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.

Any confirmation that Iranian authorities were behind the plot could make it politically hard for European leaders to continue to back the nuclear deal. The rial currency has fallen, prices have risen and the country has been hit by street protests and strikes.

Washington considers Iran a state sponsor of terrorism, with links to Lebanon s Hezbollah, Hamas in the Palestinian territories and networks in Iraq and Yemen, and demands it cease support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Six people were arrested - a diplomat attached to the Iranian embassy in Austria - in Belgium, France and Germany, while the opposition group blamed the Iranian regime for the alleged plot.

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