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Zarif Condemns U.S. Efforts To Persuade Allies To Pull Out Of Iran Deal

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif

Iran's foreign minister has condemned Washington’s efforts to press European allies to pull out of a landmark nuclear agreement with Tehran.

Speaking at the Munich Security Conference on February 17, Mohammad Javad Zarif said that U.S. Vice President Mike Pence "arrogantly demanded that Europe must join the United States in undermining its own security and breaking its obligations."

Zarif addressed the conference a day after Pence urged European powers Germany, France, and Britain to follow Washington in withdrawing from the deal and to "stop undermining U.S. sanctions."

Zarif also said that a European mechanism to trade with Tehran fell short and that France, Britain, and Germany needed to do more to show their commitment to the nuclear deal with Iran.

"[The mechanism] falls short of commitments by [France, Germany, and Britain] to save the nuclear deal…. Europe needs to be willing to get wet if it wants to swim against the dangerous tide of U.S. unilateralism,” Zarif said.

The 2015 agreement provides Tehran with relief from sanctions in return for curbs on its nuclear program.

U.S. President Donald Trump has withdrawn from the accord, saying its terms were not strict enough to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, and reimposed sanctions.

Allies France, Germany, and Britain have said they will remain in the deal despite efforts so far by Washington to have them pull out.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters