Germany, China reaffirm support for Iran nuclear deal
Iran's vice president promised on Tuesday to "sell as much oil as we can" and protect banking in the face of US economic sanctions.
Es’haq Jahangiri said Washington was trying to stop Iran's petrochemical, steel and copper exports. "America seeks to reduce Iran's oil sales, our vital source of income, to zero," he said.
"It would be a mistake to think the US economic war against Iran will have no impact," Jahangiri added.
President Donald Trump said in May he would pull the United States out of an international accord under which Tehran had agreed to limit its nuclear development in exchange for sanctions relief.
Trump said he would reintroduce sanctions and Washington later urged all countries to stop buying Iranian oil from Nov. 4 and foreign firms to stop doing business there or face US blacklists.
Jahangiri said Iran’s Foreign Ministry and the central bank have taken measures to facilitate Iran’s banking operations despite the US sanctions. He did not elaborate.
European powers which still support the nuclear deal say they will do more to encourage their businesses to remain engaged with Iran - though a number of firms have already said they plan to pull out.
Foreign ministers from the five remaining signatory countries to the nuclear deal — Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia — offered a package of economic measures to Iran on Friday but Tehran said they did not go far enough.
"We think the Europeans will act in a way to meet the Iranian demands, but we should wait and see," Jahangiri said.
He added that the US pressure on Iran came as the United States launched an "economic war with China and even its allies", referring to trade tensions between Washington and many of its main trading partners.
He also accused Washington of trying to use the economic pressure to provoke street protests in Iran.
A wave of anti-government demonstrations against economic hardship and alleged corruption engulfed cities across the country in late December and early January.
Germany, China support JCPOA
Meanwhile, Germany and China reiterated that they are committed to the 2015 nuclear deal.
Speaking alongside visiting China's Premier Li Keqiang on Monday, Chancellor Angela Merkel said the nuclear accord, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was well-negotiated. The Chinese premier also warned against the unforeseeable consequences if the deal falls apart.
"We remain committed to the nuclear agreement. We think it was well negotiated," Merkel said. "There is more that needs to be negotiated with Iran, but we think it is better to stay in the agreement."
However, Merkel implied that Berlin could do little to protect international companies against punitive US measures, adding that it is up to individual firms to decide if they want to invest in Iran.
Earlier in the day, a spokeswoman for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hua Chunying, expressed Beijing's resolve to continue efforts to safeguard the achievements of a 2015 nuclear agreement, putting forward a five-point proposal.
"Facing the complicated and stern situation at present, China clearly put up a five-point proposal emphasizing in particular that international rules should be observed, major countries should show their due integrity and sense of responsibility, unilateral sanctions can only run counter to one's desire and should be abandoned, and dialogs and consultations should adhere to a constructive approach in discussions about issues of common concerns," Hua said.
Reuters and Press TV contributed to this story.