Iranian politician calls for immediate EU action as U.S. sanctions loom

August 5, 2018

TEHRAN – An Iranian politician has called on the European Union to take an outright measure before imposition of the new U.S. sanctions if it is really willing to make up for the U.S. withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal.

In an interview with Tasnim published on Sunday, Majid Takht Ravanchi, deputy director for political affairs at the presidential office, said the European parties to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – the official name for the nuclear agreement, must take clear and outright measures immediately as part of their proposed package for securing Iran’s economic interests under the pact.

The first batch of the U.S. sanctions against Iran will go into force on August 6. The first batch of sanctions include, among others, sanctions on the acquisition of U.S. dollar banknotes; sanctions on trade in gold and other precious metals; sanctions on direct or indirect sale, supply or transfer of aluminum, steel, coal and graphite to Iran; and sanctions on  automotive sector.

The second batch of sanctions which will include oil embargo against Iran will go into effect by November 4.

Takht Ravanchi said any compensatory measure by the EU must take place before the U.S. sanctions, because any European action will be totally useless once the U.S. sanctions come into force and the customers refrain from buying Iran’s oil.

The European parties to the deal have been reminded that their efforts after sanctions go into force and any initiative for fresh negotiations with Iran will be pointless, he added.

Takht Ravanchi, who was involved in more than two years of nuclear talks with 5+1 nations, stressed that Europe’s failure to neutralize the upcoming sanctions will be tantamount to “negotiations for negotiations.”

“We would not hold negotiations for (another round of) negotiations, not with Europeans and not with any other side. We want our negotiations to be purposeful and fruitful,” he remarked.

On May 8, President Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out of the JCPOA, which was struck in 2015 between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany.

Following the U.S. exit, Iran and the remaining parties launched talks to save the accord.

Meanwhile, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has underlined that any decision to keep the JCPOA running without the U.S. should be conditional on “practical guarantees” from the Europeans.

MH/PA

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