Aside from hurting Iran’s economy, US sanctions are in contradiction with Europe’s sovereignty, security and credit, said a senior Iranian official.
Following the signing of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) between Iran and P5+1 in July 2015, relations between Tehran and Madrid has entered a new phase, said Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Abbas Araqchi, addressing media managers at a press conference in the Spanish capital on Friday, IRNA reported.
Efforts are underway by more than 3,000 Spanish firms to begin long-term cooperation with Iran, he said.
Araqchi was in Spain to attend the second round of political consultative talks between the deputy foreign ministers of Iran and Spain.
He stressed that the return of US sanctions is completely illegal and against the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231 and the ruling of the International Court of Justice, adding that except for one or two countries, the rest of the international community have condemned the move.
On May 8, 2018, US President Donald Trump pulled Washington out of the JCPOA and announced that the White House would reimpose unilateral sanctions on Tehran in two phases.
Europe, however, decided to stick with the nuclear deal and vowed to come up with solutions that guaranteed trade ties with Iran without concern over US penalties.
“Unfortunately, however, the US is using its economic power and the dollar to impose its [excessive] demands and, apparently, European firms have obeyed US orders more than those issued by their local governments.”
Araqchi said the JCPOA is a great foreign policy achievement of the European Union and an outcome of years of negotiations between Iran and international powers.
He added that on Monday the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed Iran’s commitment to the terms of the JCPOA for the 13th time.
Nevertheless, the irrational US withdrawal from the JCPOA will cause other countries to be pessimistic about the effectiveness of negotiations and dialogue, diplomacy and the mechanisms of the UN Security Council, the Iranian official said.
He noted that the JCPOA is a security agreement in the field of non-proliferation, the dissolution of which will lead to a larger number of crises in the Middle East region and, thus, threatens security of Europe and the international system.
“We still hope that Europe will manage the present situation and we know that the European Union and the three European countries [Britain, France and Germany] are making serious attempts [to this end], under US pressure.”
Commenting on US uttering threats against the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), Araqchi said, “We are waiting to see how Europe plans to defend its sovereignty against Washington’s pressures.”
SPV is a payment mechanism that will facilitate payments related to Iran’s exports and imports, enabling foreign companies to avoid the US financial system and continue trade with Iran despite Washington’s sanctions.
On Thursday, Araqchi said the US has turned its currency into a “weapon” and is using it to challenge the sovereignty of European nations, Press TV reported.
“The dollar has become a weapon for the United Sates to force its illegitimate demands upon its European partners, practically challenging their national sovereignty,” he added.
Araqchi made the remarks during a trip to Italy, where he discussed mutual ties as well as the future of cooperation between Tehran and Europe amid Washington’s attempts to block trade between the two sides.
During a meeting with Vito Rosario Petrocelli, the head of the Italian Senate’s Foreign Affairs Committee, Araqchi reminded the Italian official that Iran had already fulfilled its commitments under the JCPOA and it was the European Union’s “direct responsibility” to hold up its end of the bargain.
The Iranian diplomat called on Europe to prevent the US from using economic pressure as a weapon to establish hegemony.
Petrocelli hailed the JCPOA as an important achievement for global stability and said Rome was inclined to support the agreement.
Araqchi also discussed the deal’s future with Marta Grande, the president of the Foreign and European Affairs Committee of Italy’s Chamber of Deputies.
Grande said Europe was “determined” to work with Iran and keep working to establish a financial channel that would facilitate financial transactions.
Earlier in the day, the JCPOA took the spotlight during the South Africa-European Union (SA-EU) Summit in Brussels, where leaders hailed Iran’s commitment to the landmark accord and expressed willingness to protect the deal in the absence of the US.
The IAEA has said that Iran continues to implement all its commitments under the JCPOA even after the reimposition of US sanctions.
“We call on the remaining parties to the JCPOA to continue to honor their commitments under the agreement,” a joint statement read.
“We stress the importance of the preservation and continued, full and effective implementation of all aspects of the JCPOA, which includes sanctions lifting and the consequences arising from it, in the interest of regional and international peace and security,” it added.