Rouhani made the comments in a meeting with Austria’s Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg in Tehran on Sunday.
Pointing to the capacities for economic cooperation between the two countries, the Iranian president also expressed hope that Vienna would not care about the US illegal pressures in its relations with Tehran.
Rouhani quipped that US sanctions on Iran “are like the coronavirus” causing more fear than the reality, IRNA reported.
In May 2018, the US abandoned the Iran nuclear deal and reimposed sanctions on Tehran as part of a “maximum pressure” campaign aimed at forcing it to renegotiate a new deal that addresses its ballistic missile program and regional influence as well.
Following the US withdrawal, the EU has so far failed to stand against pressures by Washington which has called on the European countries to cut their economic relations with Iran.
However, President Rouhani told the Austrian foreign minister, “We still believe we can save the JCPOA.”
The president further highlighted the 2015 nuclear deal’s influential role in regional and international peace and security, emphasizing that Iran has honored its commitments to the deal, according to Tasnim News Agency.
He underlined that the agreement could work as an appropriate base to build mutual trust between Iran and the West, including the European Union and the US.
On regional issues, Rouhani said regional security must be ensured by regional countries alone.
“Today, the security of the region’s sea routes has declined compared to the past, and many countries in our region, such as Yemen, Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan are not experiencing suitable security conditions.”
“All of the problems of our region result from the United States’ wrong and illegal interference in the affairs of the region,” Rouhani added.
Schallenberg, for his part, hailed the friendly and age-old relations between Austria and Iran, and highlighted the efforts to boost the bilateral ties in all fields, particularly economy and trade.
The Austrian diplomat also described the JCPOA as a milestone in trust-building efforts in the region and the world, saying, “We believe that the JCPOA has a significant role in maintaining calm and stability in the region, and it is necessary to save it.”
The Austrian diplomat hailed Iran’s major role in ensuring stability and security in the region, saying Vienna welcomes the Hormuz Peace Endeavor (HOPE) proposed by Iran and is willing to play a positive role in the regional peace process.