Rouhani calls EU trio package to save nuclear deal ‘disappointing’

July 6, 2018 - 13:48

President Hassan Rouhani has said a package proposed by the European Union trio of Germany, France and Britain on how to save the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran is "disappointing".

Rouhani made the remarks in a telephone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel late on Thursday.

The Iranian president said there was no action plan or "a clear method in the proposed package for the continuation of cooperation and, similar to the previous EU statements, it only contained general commitments."

Tehran will continue cooperation with Europe if the remaining parties to the accord can meet Tehran's expectations during the meeting of the foreign ministers, Rouhani said, according to Press TV.

Foreign ministers of Iran and the five remaining parties to the nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), are scheduled to meet in Vienna on Friday to discuss ways of maintaining the international accord after the U.S. pullout.

Rouhani told Merkel the U.S. exit from the JCPOA has caused some problems in economic areas, banking transactions and oil sector for the foreign companies which have made investment in Iran, making them reluctant about continuing their operations in the country.

Merkel explained that the European countries' package pointed to the general principles at this stage, noting that negotiations should continue over the details.
The German chancellor underlined Europe's determination to remain in the nuclear deal, adding that negotiations should continue with patience.

Since Trump pulled Washington out of the historic nuclear deal, European countries have been scrambling to ensure that Iran gets enough economic benefits to persuade it to stay in the deal.

In another phone conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron late on Thursday, Rouhani described Paris' efforts to save the nuclear deal as "positive" but noted that "Europe's proposed package for keeping up cooperation in the JCPOA does not meet all our expectations."

Rouhani said Tehran expects the European Union to offer a transparent action plan with a timeline which can compensate the risks caused by the U.S. exit.
The French president expressed hope that the meeting of foreign ministers in Vienna on Friday could create a desirable balance between the political and economic issues for further cooperation.

Also on Thursday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi urged all the remaining parties to stick to their obligations under the nuclear accord.

Speaking at a news conference in Vienna on Tuesday, Wang described the scheduled ministerial meeting as "necessary."

"I am sure that we will send a united, determined and strong signal and confirm that we as treaty members will hold on to the deal," Wang said, Press TV reported.

Earlier this month, experts from the six countries held a meeting behind closed doors in Tehran on the fate of the nuclear agreement. A Joint Commission meeting had also been held at the level of deputy foreign ministers in Vienne in late May.

Trump announced on May 8 that Washington was walking away from the nuclear agreement, which was reached between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China – Germany, and the European Union in 2015.

Trump also said he would reinstate sanctions on Iran and impose “the highest level” of economic bans on the Islamic Republic.

Under the JCPOA, Iran undertook to put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions imposed against Tehran.
The remaining parties have vowed to stay in the accord.

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