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Kharrazi Says If Europe Fails On Trade, 'It Does Not Mean Iran Will Leave JCPOA'

Kamal Kharrazi, ex-foreign minister and head of foreign relations council of Iran. File photo

The head of Iran’s Strategic Council on Foreign relations Kamal Kharrazi has said that if European special trade arrangements are not implemented “it does not mean Iran will exit from the JCPOA [nuclear agreement]”.

A day earlier, Kharrazi who is also a foreign policy advisor to Iran’s Supreme Leader had said that if Europe does not deliver on its promises about facilitating trade with Iran, it will “suffer”.

Iranian officials, including foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif have in the past threatened to leave the nuclear agreement if Europe fails to help Iran with trade.

The U.S. has reimposed heavy economic sanctions on Iran, which practically stops oil exports and most other trade in addition to banking restrictions.

As a result, major European countries have promised Iran to set up a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to allow trade on a barter model, rather than using normal banking transactions. However, so far Europe has failed to find a country to host the mechanism.

The state-run ISNA, which spoke with Kharrazi reported on Wednesday that in answer to a direct question about Europe not delivering on its promise, he said “it does not mean Iran will leave the JCPOA”. He added that if Europe “completely reneges on its commitments”, it will be up to Iran’s top leadership to decide what to do.

European officials have said that the SPV can be implemented by the end of 2018.