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'Nothing Left' For Iran In JCPOA, Araqchi Says

Iran's deputy foreign minister Abbas Araqchi. File photo

Tehran has no benefit from the nuclear deal anymore since Washington reimposed sanctions on Iran, the Islamic Republic's deputy foreign minister for political affairs, warned on Monday, November 26.

"The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is in a “critical situation” Abbas Araqchi insisted, adding, “This is a reality".

Speaking at a seminar on Iran-EU cooperation held in Brussels, Araqchi said with the reimposition of U.S. sanctions, Tehran’s benefits from the lifting of sanctions has “nearly reached zero”.

Araqchi said the JCPOA used to be “quite balanced” in "giving and taking", but now, this balance has been shaken and “we should cooperate to restore it”.

Meanwhile, Araqchi lamented that the real reason behind European countries' reluctance to host SPV is the recent remarks made by Brian Hook, the US State Department's special representative on Iran.

The Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) is designed to act as a kind of clearing house that could be used to help match Iranian oil and gas exports against purchases of EU goods in an effective barter arrangement. However, no EU country has come forward as a potential host - delaying the plan.

Earlier at the same seminar in Brussels, the Islamic Republic's deputy President and the head of Iran Atomic Energy Organization, Ali Akbar Salehi bitterly criticized Washington's withdrawal from JCPOA, but reiterated that Iran remains committed to it.

Later at a press conference, the Iranian nuclear chief warned the European Union of "ominous" outcomes if it did not follow through with action to keep the economic benefits of the JCPOA alive.

"If words are not turned into deeds, then ... it is very ominous, the situation would be unpredictable," Salehi said without any elaboration.

Nevertheless, he immediately pointed out that he believed that the 28-nation bloc (EU) was "doing its best" and was on its way to delivering on its promises.

At his joint press conference with Salehi, Europe's climate and energy commissioner Miguel Arias Canete also said that there is no doubt about Europeans' resolve to put the SPV into operation.

"Nobody should have any doubt on the level of political ambition and determination by the member states involved, in particular, France, Germany and the United Kingdom, to swiftly operationalize the SPV," Canete said.