Europes offer to save Iran nuclear deal insufficient: Rouhani tells Macron

Minnie Murray
July 9, 2018

Until last month, Tehran has been cooperating with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) under the deal, but the Iranian president said Iran would decide the level of cooperation with the United Nations nuclear watchdog.

"We are meeting here today to make sure the nuclear agreement with Iran has a future", German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said as he arrived for talks with counterparts from Iran and the other signatories Britain, China, France and Russian Federation.

Rouhani was quoted by state media and on his website after calls with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel as having told them he was disappointed with their package which did not go far enough. Washington has since told countries they must stop buying Iranian oil from November 4 or face financial measures.

"We all know that we want to stay in the nuclear deal, and we believe that we should keep talks in a quite atmosphere", she said.

However, Rouhani told French President Emmanuel Macron by telephone on Thursday that the package of economic measures failed to offset sufficiently the effects of the US pullout and its re-imposition of nuclear-related sanctions.

"If the process of the European foreign ministers' meeting in Vienna, which is aimed at encouraging Iran to cooperate, is promising, we will continue our cooperation", he said.


The statement sent a positive signal, while the meeting was shadowed by Iran's dissatisfaction with the European Union (EU)'s offer to secure its economic interests by anti-sanction measures.

Rouhani had said to a group of Iranians now living in Switzerland on Tuesday that if the United States tried to prevent Iran from exporting its oil, "they do not understand what it means, because it would be totally nonsense that Iran's oil is not exported while at the same time the region's oil is exported".

The Iranian President, Hassan Rohani, believes that the entirety of measures offered by the Europeans, to compensate for the effects of the U.S. government's withdrawal from Iran's global nuclear programme, have not to date proven satisfactory.

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

Six people were arrested - a diplomat attached to the Iranian embassy in Austria - in Belgium, France and Germany, while the opposition group blamed the Iranian regime for the alleged plot.

Rouhani, who signed the nuclear deal, has been attacked at home by ultra-conservatives, who have denounced his willingness to talk to the West and accused him of hurting the economy.

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