Zarif praises Maas for his honesty

June 11, 2019

TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Minister has lauded his German counterpart Heiko Maas for admitting that it is essential to make sure that Iran benefit from “economic dividends” of the nuclear deal, officially called the JCPOA. 

“Frank talks with @HeikoMaas. Welcome German recognition that practical measures to ensure Iran’s economic dividends are essential to preserve #JCPOA,” Zarif tweeted after his meeting with Maas. 

Zarif himself had previously demanded that Germany, along with the UK and France as European parties to the JCPOA, take practical measures to ensure Iran’s interests in the deal and give Tehran a reason to stay in the deal after the U.S. unilaterally quit it.

“We concurred that dialog among regional countries is crucial. But @realDonaldTrump's "economic war" is THE cause of all tensions,” Zarif added in his tweet.

During a press conference with Maas in Tehran on Monday, Zarif said that the U.S. “economic war” against Iran should be stopped as the only way to reduce tension in the region.

“One cannot expect that those who have launched economic war and those who support it can be safe when there is an economic war against the Iranian ordinary people,” Zarif pointed out.

Zarif added, “This war is very dangerous for the region and the world. The United States’ actions after quitting the JCPOA have targeted the Iranian people who were supposed to enjoy the benefits of this deal more than anyone else.”

For his part, Maas said that Germany supports the JCPOA and recognizes Iran’s right to enjoy benefits of the deal.

But he acknowledged that the economic benefits Tehran hoped for from the deal were now “more difficult to obtain”, but urged Iran to fully respect the agreement.

It is in Iran’s “political and strategic interest to maintain this agreement and the dialogue with Europe”, Maas said.

Maas said that the UK, France and Germany support the JCPOA. However, he said, “The position of our three European countries is that we support the JCPOA and we want to continue our commitments but we cannot expect miracles.”

He also said, “We make efforts to make it possible to have economic cooperation with Iran. A financial mechanism called INSTEX has been devised in this respect.”

On January 31, France, Germany and Britain, the three European parties to the JCPOA, announced the creation of INSTEX, a special purpose vehicle aimed at facilitating legitimate trade between European economic operators and Iran.

On Sunday, Zarif had dismissed statements by the EU parties to the JCPOA in which they had been maintaining that their efforts to operationalize the INSTEX had failed. 

“We can do the same, that is, make efforts and fail [regarding our commitments]” he told reporters, stressing that what is important to Iran is results rather than efforts.

SP/PA

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