Iran seeking solution to sell oil and transfer revenues
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Sunday that Europe had not yet shown it was willing to "pay the price" of defying the US in order to save the nuclear deal.
Zarif said European governments had put forward proposals to maintain oil and banking ties with Iran after the second phase of US sanctions return in November. But he told Iran's Young Journalists Club that these measures were more "a statement of their position than practical measures."
"Although they have moved forward, we believe that Europe is not yet ready to pay the price (of truly defying the US)," Zarif said.
US President Donald Trump pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal in May, and began reimposing sanctions earlier this month that block other countries from trading with Iran.
A second phase of sanctions targeting Iran's crucial oil industry and banking relations will return on November 5.
European signatories to the 2015 nuclear deal have been searching for ways to salvage it despite the US exit and Washington’s pressure on its allies to cut purchases of Iranian oil.
Europe has vowed to keep providing Iran with the economic benefits it received from the nuclear deal, but many of its bigger companies have already pulled out of the country for fear of US penalties.
"Iran can respond to Europe's political will when it is accompanied by practical measures," said Zarif.
"Europeans say the JCPOA (nuclear deal) is a security achievement for them. Naturally each country must invest and pay the price for its security. We must see them paying this price in the coming months."
Iran after solution
First Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri said the government was seeking solutions to sell oil and transfer its revenues to bypass US sanctions on Iranian energy and banking sectors.
“We are hopeful that the European countries can meet their commitments but even if they cannot, we are seeking solutions to sell our oil and transfer its revenues,” Jahangiri told IRNA.
The European Union adopted a measure to protect European companies from damage done by US sanctions on Iran on the same day US sanctions reintroduced.
The European parties to the JCPOA – Germany, France and Britain – have said they are determined to protect European companies engaged in business with Iran using an updated version of the EU’s so-called Blocking Statute.
The trio have said by updating the 1996 regulation – which bans any EU company from complying with US sanctions and does not recognize any court rulings that enforce American penalties – the EU will protect European firms.
AFP and Reuters contributed to this story.