EghtesadOnline: The Europeans should find their own voice and stop assuming that talks between Iran and the US could offset their lack of independence in decision-making about the 2015 nuclear deal, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said.
"The Europeans have failed to fulfill their commitments under JCPOA, as well as the promises they made after the US withdrawal. Now they think the solution to their problems is that we hold talks with Trump," he told the media before wrapping up his visit to New York where he attended an annual gathering of world leaders, ISNA reported on Sunday.
Last year, US President Donald Trump pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which the European Union championed and three key European allies of the United States—Britain, Germany and France—all continue to support. It lifted sanctions on Iran in exchange for limits on its nuclear program.
The US administration later reimposed and intensified sanctions on Tehran to slash its export of crude oil and disrupt its foreign trade, according to Financial Tribune.
The Europeans have been trying, without much success, to operationalize the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges or INSTEX to compensate for the American sanctions and protect trade with Iran, mollify Tehran and salvage the agreement.
France is also spearheading diplomatic efforts to reduce tensions between Tehran and Washington.
Insistence on Iran-US Talks
Asked about the situation surrounding the nuclear accord and Europe's insistence on dialogue between Iranian and American leaders, Zarif said their lack of will in honoring their obligations under the agreement is Europe's problem, not Iran's.
"They should solve their problem. We are not ready to gamble our economy and the future of our nation on a photo-op with a president who has so far reneged on his commitments," he added.
On the fate of INSTEX, he said, "It depends on the Europeans and whether or not they would eventually realize that they cannot afford to get the Americans' permission for everything."
The senior diplomat also reiterated Iran's official stance that the precondition for talks with the US government is the lifting of all sanctions.
Asked if he held talks with members of the US Congress during his visit to New York, he said he spoke with some of them by phone but no meeting could be arranged because of the short duration of his trip.
The foreign minister added that he used those conversations to "present a true image of Iran", not to make any special request.
On regional issues, he said putting an end to the drawn-out war in Yemen is the best way to deescalate tensions.
"We believe the sooner Saudi Arabia accepts this reality, the faster the dangerous situation in the region would improve," Zarif said, referring to the Saudi-led military coalition, which has been attacking Yemen since 2015.