US bent on destroying nuclear deal: Iran FM
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the United States is determined to destroy a key 2015 nuclear agreement signed between Tehran and the P5+1 group of countries in a bid to force Iran to walk away from the deal, PressTV reported.
Zarif made the remarks in a meeting with representatives of Iran's Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture on Sunday, several weeks after the US move to withdraw from the nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). US President Donald Trump has also vowed to re-impose nuclear sanctions on Tehran.
He added that the US is the dominant economic power in the world and its strategic objective is to force Iran to exit the JCPOA.
"Of course, this does not mean that we will never walk away from the JCPOA under any circumstances, but we know the opposite side's goal," the Iranian foreign minister said.
US President Donald Trump announced on May 8 that Washington was walking away from the nuclear agreement, which was reached between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China - plus Germany.
Trump also said he would reinstate US nuclear sanctions on Iran and impose "the highest level" of economic bans on the Islamic Republic.
Under the JCPOA, Iran undertook to put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions imposed against Tehran.
Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi said on Friday that the Middle East and the entire world would face a "dreadful" future if the key nuclear agreement fell apart.
"If the European Union and other countries supporting the JCPOA do not demonstrate their practical opposition to the US policies in due time, they will face a dreadful future and unprecedented insecurity in the region and the world because of the JCPOA's collapse," the AEOI chief said.
In a phone call with his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, on June 12, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the Islamic Republic will quit the multilateral nuclear agreement if it does not benefit from the deal after the US pullout.
"If Iran cannot enjoy the agreement's benefits, it will be practically impossible to stay in it," Rouhani said.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Zarif pointed to his talks with European countries as well as Russia, India, China and South Africa and said they all emphasized that the JCPOA must be preserved.
"Except for four countries and the Zionist regime (of Israel), you cannot find one country in the world that wants to destroy the JCPOA," the top Iranian diplomat stated.
He emphasized that by refusing to scuttle the nuclear deal, world countries are conveying the message to the US president that he is not authorized to impose his decisions on them.
Since the US president pulled Washington out of the historic nuclear deal, European countries have been scrambling to ensure that Iran gets enough economic benefits to persuade it to stay in the deal. The remaining parties have vowed to stay in the accord.
A senior Iranian nuclear negotiator said on Saturday the Islamic Republic expects the European Union to put forward by the end of June its package of proposals to save the multilateral nuclear agreement.
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi added that the three European signatories of the nuclear agreement and the EU had promised to offer a package of practical steps that would fulfill Iran’s demands, including on oil sales, payments for its oil and transportation.