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  • Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif laments that European countries are not abiding by the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal. 

    Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif laments that European countries are not abiding by the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal.  | Photo: Reuters

Published 31 July 2019

“Current tensions are rooted in the US economic terrorism against Iran and the European countries’ failure to deliver on their promises," Zarif said.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif lamented Wednesday, on the sidelines of a cabinet meeting in Teheran that France, Britain, and Germany are not abiding by the terms of the multilateral nuclear deal they signed in 2015.

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The deal is not being respected, or the responsibility of these European countries, to find a solution to the consequences of the United States’ leaving the accord, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), said the Minister.

Zarif was specifically referring to a financial system consisting of a non-dollar payment channel, known as INSTEX, designed by the Europeans to counterbalance the U.S. sanctions on the Persian country and permit it to sell oil and collect revenues. INSTEX is still not yet in service.

“INSTEX should not be turned into a tool for carrying out U.S. orders, [enabling] them (the U.S.) to decide how this mechanism can function,” Iran's minister said. “INSTEX is a vehicle for Europe to fulfill its commitments after the U.S. pullout” from the nuclear deal signed during the Barack Obama administration.

Zarif then urged Europe to “allow itself the courage to act based on its commitments, not on the U.S. demands.”

Tehran partners had pledged during the most recent Joint Commission of the JCPOA to support the country, however, the words now need to be put into action, said Zarif.

“Under current circumstances and if no action is taken (by the Europeans), we will definitely take the next step (in reducing commitments),” he added.

“The current wave of tensions, chaos, and problems are rooted in the U.S. economic terrorism against Iran, and the European countries’ failure to deliver on their promises, which is counted as complicity in economic terror,” continued Iran's chief diplomat.

Iran began in May to reduce its commitments to the deal, one year after the U.S. president Donald Trump decided to pull his country out of the agreement, and to reimpose harsh sanctions on Iran, mainly targetting its energy sector, but also the financial sector.

Tehran’s reductions of its commitments are perfectly legal within the framework of the deal under Articles 26 and 36. 

The European signatories have already missed a 60-deadline to find a solution to INSTEX set previously by Teheran, forcing Iran to go for the second phase of reducing its commitments.

The Islamic Republic said it will return to normal committments of the accord as soon as Europe starts to honor its engagements in helping Iran to find a way out of the U.S. sanctions that have potentially devastating consequences.

Since 2015, Iran has complied with all the terms of the deal and has limited its enrichment of uranium, according to the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog. The reimposition of U.S. sanctions has caused great damage to Iran’s economy while the Europeans have so far shown incapable to effectively respond.

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