With US out, those backing Iran nuclear deal meet in Vienna

08 July, 2018, 02:56 | Author: Mary Valdez
  • IRAN PRESIDENT Hassan Rouhani and Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz attend a news conference at the

Three European nations along with Russian Federation and China met with Iran Friday to offer it economic benefits that would lessen the blow of sweeping United States sanctions, two months after President Donald Trump walked away from the landmark nuclear deal.

Beyond the European Investment Bank plan, other elements of the European economic package that Rohani criticized as insufficient include a special measure to shield EU companies from the USA sanctions and a proposal for EU governments to make direct money transfers to Iran's central bank to avoid US penalties.

"After the withdrawal of the United States, which we can't understand, we face a hard situation", he added, but he stressed that "we want to make clear to Iran that it will still gain economic benefits through this agreement".

Late on Thursday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani had described as "disappointing" a package presented to him earlier by European countries.

"We all have in mind a timeframe that is dictated by United States sanctions, meaning measures need to be carried out before the sanctions".

Heading in to the talks, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas conceded that the treaty nations would not be able to compensate Iran entirely for the loss of business from companies withdrawing, but said they would advise firms that want to continue investing and emphasize to Iran that leaving the deal "would have much greater disadvantages".

Tehran's regional rivals Saudi Arabia and Israel applaud the decision.

Iran is also anxious about continuing its oil exports to other markets and about being shut out of global bank payments systems.

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European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini reads a statement after a meeting in Vienna, Austria, on July 6, 2018. "We want this agreement to be maintained in the future".

"The participants recognized that, in return for the implementation by Iran of its nuclear-related commitments, the lifting of sanctions, including the economic dividends arising from it, constitutes an essential part of the JCPOA", Mogherini said.

She noted that such cooperation would be "through direct bilateral efforts and through engagement with worldwide partners in order to encourage them to follow the same policies and to establish similar mechanisms in their economic relations with Iran".

In late June, Iran's Press TV cited Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi as saying that the UK, Germany, France and the European Union had vowed to put forward a package of practical economic measures to offset the USA withdrawal, including those related to oil sales and transit.

"We have agreed ... that the experts of the Joint Commission of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) would consider ways that would allow [us] to stick to our commitments taken under the [agreement] independently from the US, " Lavrov told journalists following a ministerial meeting of the parties to the Iran deal.

"They (Iran) must stop threatening to break their commitments to the nuclear deal", Jean-Yves Le Drian said.

Trump also said he would reinstate sanctions on Iran and impose "the highest level" of economic bans on the Islamic Republic.

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