Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the Islamic Republic is still waiting for Europe's guarantees on the sale of Iranian oil and banking relations.
Zarif made the remarks while speaking to reporters on Saturday on the sidelines of a conference on Iran's political development after US unilateral move to pull out of a 2015 historic nuclear agreement."The European Union was supposed to carry out some measures, including the preservation of the sale of Iranian oil and the preservation of banking channels, which we are still waiting [for Europe] to do," Zarif said.
"The European Union's 18-million-euro aid is not in line with a package [of proposals] to support the JCPOA," the top Iranian diplomat said.
The United States has ramped up pressure on Iran after US President Donald Trump withdrew Washington in May from the landmark Iran nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), reached between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries in 2015, and decided to re-impose unilateral sanctions against Tehran.
Under the deal, Iran undertook to put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions.
In defiance of warnings from the European Union, the JCPOA signatories and many international players, Trump signed an executive order on August 6 re-imposing a first round of sanctions on Iran, which were lifted under the nuclear deal, to levy "maximum economic pressure" on the Islamic Republic.
The sanctions will cover Iran’s purchases of the dollar, its trade in gold and precious metals, and its automotive sector. A second batch of bans will be re-imposed in November with the aim of curtailing Iran’s oil exports and shipping sectors.
On Monday, the Iranian foreign minister said European countries must be ready to bear the expenses if they want to safeguard their long-term interests in the face of the United States’ law-breaking behavior after quitting the JCPOA.
He added, “The Europeans have been very good in declaring their positions [on the JCPOA], but to pay that price, they need to make a decision and they have only a limited time for that decision and cannot wait forever.”
His remarks came a day after Iran's First Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri said Tehran is looking for solutions to continue selling its crude oil after the United States re-imposes its sanctions on the country’s energy sector in early November.
Elsewhere in his talks, Zarif also pointed to the European Union's decision on Thursday to provide 18 million euros ($21 million) in aid to Iran for projects in support of sustainable economic and social development in the Islamic Republic.
"This is a package that will help both sides maintain communication with each other and it doesn't have anything to do with the JCPOA," he pointed out.
Since the US president pulled Washington out of the nuclear deal, European countries have been scrambling to ensure that Iran gets enough economic benefits to persuade it to stay in the deal. The remaining parties have vowed to stay in the accord.