US discouraging big banks to work with Iran: Nuclear official

IRNA – The US is trying to poison the business environment and discourage big banks and companies from working with Iran, Iranian vice president said.

The US is fear mongering. But in reality they cannot accomplish much. There is a lot of rhetoric, yes. If the US turns those words into real action, we will then have to face a very different situation,’ Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Ali Akbar Salehi said in an exclusive interview with German Der Spiegel magazine released on Friday.

‘We are continuously assessing if this agreement benefits us, or if the price is too high to stay in the deal. If the United States pulls out of the agreement, but the rest of the countries stay committed — namely Britain, France, Germany, China, and Russia — then Iran would most probably stick with the commitments to the agreement without the US but if the US leaves the treaty and Europe follows, then this deal will certainly collapse and Iran will go back to what it was before and, technically speaking, to a much higher level. As a person who has taken part in these negotiations, I wouldn’t like to see that happen,’ he stressed.

Salehi added, ‘If the US is refusing to waive the sanctions connected to the nuclear activities of Iran, it would be significant noncompliance on their side.’

‘If the nuclear agreement is breached, economically we would face some difficulties, but politically we would be gaining. We would tell our youth, don’t trust them anymore, we tried once and showed flexibility to reach a nuclear agreement. The International Atomic Energy Agency has acknowledged our full compliance with this treaty, but the Americans broke the deal. Don’t forget, the isolation which was imposed on us also brought us together as a nation and forced us to stand on our own feet. In addition, in the field of scientific achievement we have made it to the top of the list. I think our partners in this treaty have more to lose than we do,’ the Iranian top nuclear negotiator noted.

He added, ‘If the nuclear agreement collapses, there will be no chance for a settlement of North Korea’s nuclear issue. Pyongyang would say, well, they broke the nuclear deal with Tehran, how can we trust them? It would also undermine the integrity of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. There will be a tsunami of outrage coming from all countries interested in developing peaceful nuclear technology’.

In response to a question regarding Iran missile tests, Salehi said, ‘If the US considers this an issue, then it is their problem. Nowhere in the nuclear agreement does it say that Iran does not have the right to develop its missile capacity. We are exercising our rights and it is the other side that is trying to interpret this as a provocative act. Every day for the last 38 years, we’ve dealt with the US or other countries issuing different accusations against Iran. One day we are not ‘democratic enough,’ the next day it is about ‘human rights’ or ‘false elections,’

‘There are countries in the region which have no elections at all, nor basic rights for their citizens — where, for example, women can’t even drive. But because they are in the political orbit of the West, especially the US, they are being left alone,’ he said.