1119 GMT April 03, 2020
Iran and the Netherland on Saturday stressed the need to preserve the 2015 nuclear deal, calling for dialogue to break the standoff over the issue.
In a meeting with Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok in Tehran, President Hassan Rouhani said all should try to keep the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers in place, adding that Iran has not shut the door for dialogue with the European Union.
Rouhani said the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal in 2018 “was to the detriment of the region, the world, and the Americans themselves.”
Iran signed the nuclear agreement with six world powers— namely the US, Germany, France, Britain, Russia, and China — in 2015. The deal was also ratified in the form of a UN Security Council resolution.
The US pulled out of the nuclear deal in May 2018 and reimposed tough sanctions on Iran
Tehran remained fully compliant with the nuclear agreement, known as the JCPOA, for an entire year after the US withdrawal, waiting for the European signatories to the deal to fulfill their end of the bargain by offsetting the impacts of American bans on the Iranian economy.
Since May 2019, Iran has progressively scaled back commitments in compliance with articles 26 and 36 of the agreement in response to the US sanctions and Europe's inability to circumvent them.
Rouhani told the Dutch minister that Iran expects the global community to condemn “illegal US sanctions” that have also targeted “medicine and food”.
Rouhani also expressed dismay over the EU’s inaction to fulfill its commitments to Iran.
“Since the Americans left the JCPOA, unfortunately the EU has not been able to take an effective step in its bilateral relations and fulfill its obligations to the nuclear deal,” he said.
The president said Iran is keen to have “warm ties” with the EU.
Europe set up a special trading mechanism called INSTEX to enable legitimate humanitarian trade with Iran after Washington’s unilateral withdrawal.
However, despite repeated promises by the EU to make the mechanism operational, it has yet to complete any transactions.
Blok referred to his meeting with the representatives of Dutch companies in Tehran and expressed hope that his country could play a more active role in INSTEX.
He stressed the need to preserve the JCPOA as an international agreement.
"We have openly and privately told Americans that leaving the nuclear deal was not the right thing to do," Blok said.
He said the Netherlands will do its utmost to preserve the deal.
“To this end we need to continue dialogue, and negotiation can be the solution to the problems and disputes,” the minister said.
Earlier, Blok held two rounds of talks with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif about issues of mutual interest and the latest regional and international developments.
During the first round of their talks, the top Iranian and Dutch diplomats stressed the importance of enhancing mutual relations.
At the second round of the talks, Zarif and Blok exchanged views about the landmark nuclear deal, and the non-dollar direct payment channel (INSTEX) among other issues.