0121 GMT July 18, 2019
Head of Iran's Foreign Policy Strategic Council Kamal Kharrazi said that Tehran is serious in its decision to reduce compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal if the European countries don’t take serious steps to preserve the deal.
“Be sure if the other side does not take the appropriate measure in the next two weeks, we will take further steps to stop fulfilling our obligations under the nuclear deal", Kharrazi told the visiting Minister of State for the Middle East Andrew Murrison in Tehran on Sunday, according to IRNA.
“It would be a positive step if they put resources in INSTEX and ... make trade possible,” Kharrazi said.
Following the US unilateral withdrawal from the nuclear deal in 2018 and reimposion of sanctions against Iran, Europe has tried to respond to the US withdrawal by setting up a special trade mechanism called the Instrument for Supporting Trade Exchanges (INSTEX) that would allow legitimate trade with Iran to continue without falling foul of US sanctions.
But the Europeans have not been able to launch the mechanism so far.
Following the meeting with the British official, the Iranian diplomat expressed disappointment, saying the talks were "repetitive.”
Murrison had the "usual talking points", said Kharrazi.
These included saying a European payment mechanism to help Iran with US sanctions "will soon become operational, that Britain has always supported the JCPOA and has its own problems with America ... such talks that have always been repetitive," Kharrazi added.
The nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was reached between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries – the United States, the UK, France, Russia, and China plus Germany – in Vienna in 2015.
However, the US left the deal last May. Europe too has been throwing only verbal support behind the agreement ever since under Washington’s pressure, refusing to retain its trade with the Islamic Republic as the agreement allows.
Last month, Iran announced that it would suspend the implementation of some of its commitments under the deal. It warned that in 60 days it would resume refining uranium to a higher degree if Europe failed again to ensure Iran’s interests under the accord despite the US pressure. Last week, the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran also said the country would surpass the uranium stockpile limit, set under the nuclear deal, from June 27.
Reuters and AFP contributed to this story.