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Iranian Official Doubts Nuclear Deal Will Survive

Ali Akbar Salehi, head of Iran's nuclear energy agency and a chief negotiator. File photo

A senior Iranian nuclear negotiator has expressed doubt whether the Iran nuclear agreement can survive, saying that what European powers have offered Iran so far is insufficient.

ISNA reports that Ali Akbar Salehi, vice president and chief of Iran’s nuclear energy agency made these remarks in his meeting with the United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, on June 19 in Norway.

Following the May withdrawal of the United States from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or the 2015 nuclear agreement, Iran has been asking the three main European signatories of the accords to resist American sanctions and provide Iran with guarantees of continued economic benefit.

Tehran argues that it made many concessions by signing the JCPOA and so far, it has not seen the anticipated economic windfall. President Hassan Rouhani and other Iranian officials have threatened to leave JCPOA if impending U.S. sanctions cripple business, banking and trade relations with Europe.

Germany, Great Britain and France, as signatories, have tried to assure the Islamic Republic that they are doing their utmost to help keep the agreement in force.

Salehi told Guterres that what Europe has offered so far does not meet Iran’s expectations and he doubts JCPOA will survive. He expressed disappointment with the economic benefits of the deal for Iran since 2015 and demanded the full support of the remaining signatories to defy the U.S. sanctions.

President Donald Trump’s administration has given European and other companies six months to wind down their deals with Iran, before renewed U.S. sanction kick in.