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Rouhani, Zarif Renew Calls On Europe To Ignore US Sanctions

File photo - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, right, speaks with Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, at the Saadabad Palace in Tehran, February 27, 2019

Iran’s president has warned his French counterpart the 2015 nuclear deal might not survive if European signatories do not honor their “commitments” and fail to cooperate with Iran.

President Hassan Rouhani in a telephone conversation July 30 with French President Emmanuel Macron urged France, the United Kingdom and Germany to “normalize banking and oil trade as a first step in honoring commitments Iran expects”.

After the U.S. pullout from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA as the nuclear accord is known, Iran has been pressuring Europe to ignore U.S. sanctions and help Iran in trade to save the agreement.

In May Iran announced its intention to reduce its own commitments, by increasing uranium enrichment and other steps and threatened a gradual pullback from JCPOA.

Rouhani told Macron that up to this point if Europe takes steps to address Iran’s demands it would possible to return to where the nuclear deal is fully implemented by Tehran, but in case of further delays, “going back to the starting point will be hard for both sides”.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif reiterated Rouhani’s demands on Wednesday, July 31, telling the state television Iran is set to further cut its commitments to its international nuclear deal unless its European partners move to protect it from U.S. sanctions by ensuring it can sell oil and receive income.

"Under current circumstances and if no action is taken (by the Europeans) we will take the next step (in cutting commitments)," Zarif said, adding that its European partners should guarantee Iran could sell its oil and collect the revenue.