VP criticizes Europe for ‘odd comments’ on nuclear deal

MNA – Iran’s First Vice President Es’hagh Jahangiri lashed out at the three European parties to the 2015 nuclear deal for failing to live up to their commitments under the JCPOA and making baseless claims regarding the deal.

“The Americans left the JCPOA and we, subsequently, took several steps. The Europeans are making odd comments [regarding the steps] while they know we are not a country to collapse the deal,” Jahangiri said on Saturday.

“We had officially announced that if other parties do not comply with their commitments, we would reduce our obligations to the deal as far as it is allowed by the deal,” he added.

The vice president lashed out the European parties for succumbing to the US pressures, saying, “It seems they want to use this situation to marginalize the issue of [US assassination of] Lt. General Soleimani and Iran’s retaliatory attacks to US bases in Iraq so that other countries do not think they can stand against these powers.”

The leaders of Britain, France and Germany have called in a joint statement on Iran to return to full compliance with their 2015 nuclear deal and reverse its countermeasures against the West’s failures vis-a-vis Tehran.

The Europeans’ call on Iran to fully comply with the nuclear deal stands in contrast to their failure to protect the Islamic Republic from unilateral US sanctions on Tehran after Washington abandoned the accord.

Tehran has particularly been disappointed with the European trio’s failure to protect its business interests under the deal after the United States’ withdrawal.

After patiently watching for more than a year and seeing no clear action from the other signatories of the nuclear deal, Iran invoked Articles 26 and 36 of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to let go of some of the limitations put on its nuclear work.

So far, Tehran has broken free of some limitations of the accord in five stages, the last of which came on January 5. The country has made it clear that it will reverse its measures as soon as Europe finds practical ways to shield mutual trade from the US sanctions.

In their Sunday statement, they called on Iran “to refrain from further violent action or proliferation”, saying they “remain ready to engage with Iran on this agenda in order to preserve the stability of the region”.

Such rhetoric is likely to further irritate Iran which is already aggrieved by the Europeans’ failure to condemn US assassination of a top Iranian military commander and even enunciation of support for the dangerous move by some of them.

Iran responded to the assassination by pounding two US military bases in Iraq with a volley of precision-guided missiles, which rattled many of its adversaries long bent on putting the country in a chokehold.