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

Iran: 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.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on 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.

The foreign Minister 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. saying 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.)”.

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.

Trump 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 salvage some form of the accord, which had terms that favoured the EU more than the US.

It also means that President Trump would have to appease Russia as well the EU before making changes, and being confined or restricted in his negotiations is something that irked Trump.

Tehran has demanded that European Union should 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.

However, the EU must satisfy Trump’s demands on Iran or risk losing access to the U.S. financial system. The potential of a new relationship hangs in the balance.

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

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