Zarif to remaining JCPOA parties: Make actionable commitments

Press TV- Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the remaining parties to the Iran nuclear deal should give the country practical assurances in the face of US sanctions in order for Tehran to stay in the accord.

Foreign ministers of Iran and the five remaining parties to the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), are set to meet in the Austrian capital Vienna on Friday to discuss ways of maintaining the international accord after the US’ withdrawal.

In a tweet on Thursday , Zarif urged the foreign ministers of the remaining JCPOA signatories — Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany — to avoid making “obscure promises” during the Friday session to save the nuclear deal without the US.

“In Vienna for JCPOA Ministerial Meeting. My mandate is crystal clear: Forge practical solutions. Expecting EU/E3+2 counterparts to make verifiable & actionable commitments rather than lofty & obscure promises. Make no mistake: Sanctions & JCPOA compliance are mutually exclusive,” Zarif tweeted.

After Washington’s withdrawal from the JCPOA in May, the administration of US President Donald Trump pledged “the highest level” of economic bans on the Islamic Republic.

Tehran has conditioned its stay in the deal to a set of practical European strides to make sure Iran’s dividends from the deal would not be affected when US bans return.

A view of a special meeting of the Joint Commission of parties to the 2015 Iran deal at Coburg Palace in Vienna, Austria, on May 25, 2018 (Photo by AFP)

European countries have expressed their determination to save the nuclear agreement and maintain their business links with Iran. They are now working to finalize a package of proposals for Iran to help save the JCPOA.

Upon his arrival at Vienna airport to attend the JCPOA ministerial meeting, Zarif said Iran expected the remaining parties to the deal to present a package of proposals that would meet the demands of the Iranian nation.

“What we expect is that on Friday, the package of commitments made by the remaining 5 + 1 countries, namely, China and Russia and the three EU countries and the European Union itself, will be in fact commitments to protect the rights of the Iranian people,” he said.

In return for the economic package, Zarif said, the European Union has no expectation from Iran but commitment to the nuclear deal.

Zarif said that prior to the ministerial meeting he would hold bilateral meetings with his counterparts as well as the European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini.

In an interview with Press TV, political commentator and analyst Jason Unruhe anticipated that Europe would finally ensure that Iran would benefit from the JCPOA “despite US attempts to sabotage” the nuclear deal.

“The European powers will eventually come to some consensus to make the deal for Iran that does live up to the original agreement,” said Unruhe.

Earlier this month, experts from the six countries held a meeting behind closed doors in Tehran on the fate of the Iran deal.

A Joint Commission meeting had also been held at the level of deputy foreign ministers in Vienne in late May.

During  a phone conversations with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said Tehran would continue cooperation with Europe if the remaining parties to the JCPOA could meet Tehran’s expectations during Friday’s meeting.

Rouhani noted that the US withdrawal from the JCPOA had caused some problems in economic areas specifically banking transactions as well as investments by foreign companies in Iran’s oil sector. He added that the same problems had already made investors reluctant about continuing their operations in the Islamic Republic.