Iranian leader describes European Union proposals to save JCPOA as ‘disappointing’

Iranian leader describes European Union proposals to save JCPOA as ‘disappointing’

Austria's Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (r) and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani give a joint press conference following a meeting on July 4, 2018 at the Chancellery in Vienna.

The Iranian leader said he hoped deficiencies Iran sees with the package can be addressed at the Vienna meeting, which comes two months after the United States left the nuclear accord.

Three European nations along with Russian Federation and China met with Iran to offer economic benefits and assurances that would lessen the blow of sweeping U.S. sanctions, two months after President Donald Trump walked away from the landmark nuclear deal. "We are trying to do it (economic package) before sanctions are imposed at the start of August and then the next set of sanctions in November".

However, he warned that if the European sides fail to properly fulfill their commitments, Iran would take its own measures to counter the USA withdrawal from the JCPOA.

On arrival in Vienna, Germany's Foreign Minister Heiko Mass said he didn't expect a collapse of talks, but suggested more negotiations would be needed in the future.

Speaking after three hours of talks, European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, who chaired the talks, read a statement from the six delegations repeating previously-announced broad priorities ranging from guaranteeing Iranian oil revenue to shipping ties, banking and all other trade and investment co-operation.

Iran has threatened to withdraw from the deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), if it does not receive enough economic guarantees from Europe. This was extrapolated by United States officials as a threaten to shut down all regional oil shipping, when it could just as easily be interpreted as noting that Iran can basically export its oil under the guise of it coming from other regional countries, which is common behavior during sanctions.

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In light of Washington's push on sanctions, European leaders have said they would do their utmost of maintain business ties with Iran but it would be hard for them to make any "guarantees".

The measure authorizes the bank to work with Iran starting in August, but it does not require it to do so.

In May, U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of a multinational deal under which sanctions on Iran were lifted in return for curbs to its nuclear program.

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 US sanctions and a proposal for EU governments to make direct money transfers to Iran's central bank to avoid USA penalties.

They also vowed to maintain financial channels, promote export credit cover and air, sea and overland transport links, and to work for the "the protection of companies from the extraterritorial effects of U.S. sanctions".

Since Trump's announcement, Iran's rial currency has fallen, prices have risen and the country has been hit by street protests and strikes.

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