EghtesadOnline: Iran’s top diplomat said the standoff over the 2015 nuclear deal raises questions over Europe’s independence from the United States “imposing its will” on allies.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said he was “happy” that French President Emmanuel Macron was taking the lead in trying to hold the crumbling agreement together, following Washington’s withdrawal.
In a recent interview with Euronews, Zarif said he held “a very good discussion” with Macron in Paris ahead of the Group of Seven (G7) summit in Biarritz.
"We discussed with Macron how the US could come back, and how Europe and the international community can live up to their commitments, independent of the US,” Financial Tribune quoted him as saying.
“President Macron has been trying to do his best. Our partners in Europe have to make a decision, not about Iran but about how they want to deal with the US—whether they want to have independence or whether the US can impose its will.”
The deal is “not an optional arrangement” but rather it is backed by a UN Security Council resolution, he stressed.
Zarif noted that if the US were to impose its will on Europe to abide by international law it would be bad, but it would be justifiable.
“Now the US is imposing will on the rest of the world to violate international law. That’s totally unacceptable, and for Europe, whose future is based on multilateralism and the rule of law, this is a threat against the future of Europe,” he said.
He added that the nuclear deal was imperfect but was still the “best possible” solution.
“It wasn’t done overnight, almost every word of it has gone through difficult negotiation so I know it’s not the best deal,” he said.
“It’s not what I wanted, not what the US wanted, not what France wanted … We all have our complaints but that’s what a multilateral agreement is all about; you can’t get everything you want.”
The foreign minister also said Iran’s recent nuclear steps, such as the work on its uranium enrichment program, were reversible.
“If Europe—alone or with the US—decided to fulfill their part of the obligation, then we can easily within hours return to full implementation of the deal,” he said.
Zarif said while Iran’s economy was hit hard by the reintroduction of US sanctions, it has partially recovered.
“Our economy is stabilizing, we have gone through the worst period, our currency has recovered one-third of its value. We are back in green territory with our growth,” he said.
“We suffered tremendously last year and the US is responsible for huge damages on Iran—hundreds of billions of dollars which one day they will have to pay.”