Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif commented over the weekend that the European Union had not yet demonstrated it was ready to “pay the price” of standing up against the White House in order to save the nuclear deal. Mr. Zarif said European capitals had presented a few proposals to maintain oil and banking connections with Tehran after the United States slammed Iran with the second round of sanctions. However, Tehran sees the European measures more “a statement of their position than practical measures”.
Washington withdrew from the internationally negotiated 2015 agreement in May this year and started re-imposing punitive measures on the country earlier this month. The main focus of the second round of sanctions imposed by Washington is oil and banking relations. Europe has promised to keep providing the country with the same economic benefits that were granted by the nuclear deal but many bigger firms had already ceased doing business there due to US sanctions.
“Iran can respond to Europe’s political will when it is accompanied by practical measures,” commented Mr. Zarif. “Europeans say the JCPOA (nuclear deal) is a security achievement for them. Naturally each country must invest and pay the price for its security. We must see them paying this price in the coming months.” Tehran is struggling to stay in the game and on Sunday (19 August), an Iranian diplomat demanded that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) rejected Saudi proposal to boost oil output to take over Iran’s share of exports over the US sanctions.