Iran’s Zarif Urges Europe to Back Up JCPOA Commitments with Actions
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that in addition to political commitment, Europe should take practical steps to ensure the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), will survive.
“What we need from the Europeans is both the political commitment, which they have made, now we need to see the measures in place on the ground, not simply in writing, not simply in words — in the banking sector, in the investment sector, in the energy sector, in the transportation sector, in the SME sector,” Zarif told Euronews in an interview.
“I believe generally Europe is underestimating its power and its influence, we believe that it should be more active in regional peace and security, in international peace and security as well as in promoting a greater cooperation and dialogue,” he added.
Zarif also said that the European Union can do more to bring about peace and stability in the Middle East.
EU countries this week gave European firms legal cover to operate in Iran despite the US pullout from the nuclear deal, after a report that the Trump administration has rejected calls by Brussels for an exemption from sanctions.
The bloc’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said on Monday the 28 countries were doing all they could to save the deal but conceded US President Donald Trump’s administration could still wreck it.
Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal in May, and Washington now plans to reimpose sanctions on Tehran next month. The first round of US sanctions on Iran goes into effect in August, followed by ones targeting Iran's oil exports in November.
Elsewhere in the interview with Euronews, the Iranian top diplomat said that Tehran has good ties with Russia and Syrian and blamed the US for supporting the Daesh (ISIL or ISIS) terrorist group.
“We have good communication and coordination with Russia and with Syrian government and we will continue to do so. Our objective here is very clear, that is our objectives and the objective of the Russian Federation and that is to fight against terrorism and extremism,” Zarif said.
“Now if President Trump wants to take credit for it, he should take credit for supporting Daesh which has been what the US and its allies have been doing all along. The fact that US arms, US weapons have been found in the hands of ISIS and other extremist organizations is documented, is documented by western sources. So I think we should look at the realities, those who fought terrorism, those who fought extremism are Syrian people and those who work with Syria people.”