EU moves to use euro in dealings with Iran: Salehi

May 23, 2018 - 20:7

TEHRAN - Ali Akbar Salehi, director of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, announced on Saturday that the European Union had made proposals and also taken initial steps to use euro in transactions with Iran.

During a joint press conference in Tehran with Miguel Arias Canete, the European commissioner for energy and climate, Salehi also expressed hope that the EU’s efforts in salvaging the nuclear deal after the U.S. withdrawal from the multilateral agreement would be materialized.

"We hope their efforts materialize," Salehi stated.

Federica Mogherini, the EU foreign policy chief, issued a statement on Friday saying that the 28-nation bloc is united in preserving the 2015 international nuclear deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA.

Salehi added, “The European Union’s efforts show that the JCPOA is a very important international agreement which is in line with our national interests and also the international community’s interests. Withdrawal of one country may cause some difficulties but it is not in a way that it causes a serious impediment for us.” 

Salehi also said Iran had several options, including resuming its 20 percent uranium enrichment if the European countries failed to keep the pact alive.

On May 8, President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the UN-endorsed nuclear agreement, a move which Salehi described as “unwise”.

‘EU has only few weeks to deliver on promises’

Salehi said the EU had only a few weeks to deliver on their promises.

“If the other side keeps itself committed to its promises we also will be keeping ourselves to our promises... We hope the situation will not arise to the point that we will have to go back to the worst option,” he told reporters in English.

For his part, Canete tried to reassure Iran that the EU remained committed to salvaging the nuclear deal after the U.S. pullout.

“We have sent a message to our Iranian friends that as long as they are sticking to the (nuclear) agreement the Europeans will... fulfill their commitment. And they said the same thing on the other side,” Reuters quoted Canete as saying.

“We will try to intensify our flows of trade that have been very positive for the Iranian economy.”

Since Trump declared U.S. exit from the accord, European countries have said they will try to keep Iran's oil and investment flowing, but have also admitted they will struggle to provide the guarantees Tehran seeks.


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