Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif on Monday told the EU that its “political support” alone is not sufficient to save the Iran nuclear deal.
At a meeting with EU Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete, Mr Zarif made it clear that the EU must take more practical steps “to increase its investments in Iran’’.
Mr Zarif said that the EU’s support of the deal was not in step with the threat made by some major European companies to withdraw cooperation with Iran.
“The Iranian public’s expectations of the EU to safeguard the achievements of the deal have risen since the U.S. decision to withdraw from it.’’
Within a few weeks, Tehran wants the EU to guarantee the economic advantages that it was promised for its decision to discontinue its nuclear weapons programme,’’ Zarif said.
Meanwhile, Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas ,has urged other signatories to uphold the 2015 deal as he arrived in Buenos Aires for a meeting of the G20 foreign ministers that U.S. top diplomat Mike Pompeo is skipping.
“Giving it up means entering a completely uncertain future as far as the question of nuclear weapons in Iran is concerned.
“It’s not really about Iran, it’s about our own original security interests, German as well as European,’’ Maas added.
Germany, France and Britain have been fighting to save the deal with Tehran after President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. earlier this month.
The deal’s other signatories, China and Russia, also want to maintain it.
However, Monday’s meeting in Buenos Aires will be without U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo, who will instead be giving a speech in Washington on the U.S. strategy for reaching a new nuclear deal with Iran.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also cancelled his attendance at the summit at short notice citing other unnamed duties, while French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and EU foreign policy Chief Federica Mogherini will also be missing.
Progress on Iran will be difficult in the absence of key players.
The reintroduction of U.S. sanctions will make it harder for the other signatories to maintain the economic benefits the original deal offered in return for Iran’s commitments to halt what the West feared was a nuclear weapons programme.