TEHRAN: The European Union is not doing enough to preserve the benefits for Iran from the 2015 international nuclear pact following the withdrawal of the United States, Iran’s foreign minister told the EU’s energy chief on Sunday.
“With the withdrawal of America, (Iran’s) public expectations from the European Union have increased in order to maintain the deal’s gains, and in the current context, the European political support for the accord is not sufficient,” Mohammad Javad Zarif told Miguel Arias Canete in Tehran, Iran’s state news agency IRNA reported.
Since President Donald Trump announced on May 8 that he would pull the United States out of the deal, EU leaders have pledged to try to keep Iran’s oil trade and investment flowing, but conceded that would not be easy.
“We have to preserve this agreement so we don’t have to negotiate a new agreement,” Arias Canete told Western journalist after two days of meetings with Iranian officials in Tehran.
“Our message is very clear. This is a nuclear agreement that works.”
Under the deal, Tehran agreed to curb its nuclear work in return for the lifting of most Western sanctions.
With the threat of new U.S. sanctions looming over them, some foreign firms have already started signaling their intention to pull back from Iran.
“The announcement of the possible withdrawal by major European companies from their cooperation with Iran is not consistent with the European Union’s commitment to implementing (the nuclear deal),” Zarif was quoted as saying.