‘Iran’s talks with Europeans proceeding positively’

August 25, 2019

TEHRAN - Abdolreza Faraji-Rad, Iran’s former ambassador to Norway, has said that Iran’s talks with the European countries to preserve the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA, are proceeding positively.

In an interview with ISNA published on Sunday, he pointed to Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif’s Scandinavian tour, saying, “When these countries listen to Iran’s words, the remarks and position of Iran can be effective to prevent them from accepting the United States’ demands. However, I am sure that none of these countries are willing to cooperate with the United States.”

In his whirlwind tour of Scandinavian counties started on August 19, Zarif visited Finland, Sweden and Norway.

“The Scandinavian countries have rather more independent policies compared to certain other European countries. The three Scandinavian countries oppose Trump’s policies, because none of Trump’s policies on NATO, Climate Accord, JCPOA or other things are being agreed by the European countries,” Faraji-Rad remarked.

He also said that Zarif’s talks can also help implementation of INSTEX.

“As you know, implementation of INSTEX is under the U.S. pressure. So, the more the European countries invest on INSTEX, the more difficult for the U.S. to sanction countries,” he said.

INSTEX – the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges - is a European special purpose vehicle aimed at facilitating legitimate trade between Europe and Iran.

The European Union announced on June 28 that INSTEX has gone into effect.

Secretary General of the European External Action Service (EEAS) Helga Schmid said on July 11 that countries outside the European Union will join INSTEX.

According to AP, she said that beyond the 10 EU nations that are already part of the system, she could “share with you that more, also non-EU member states, will join.”

Apart from the three EU member nations that are party to the deal - Britain, Germany and France - seven more EU member states have committed to take part.

Zarif said in July that INSTEX should not be a means to carry out U.S. orders.

“INSTEX is a preliminary phase and has not yet been implemented completely, and if it’s implemented, it is essential that oil income enter it. It should not be in a way that INSTEX be a means to carry out the U.S. orders and they tell the Europeans that how INSTEX should work,” he told reporters after a cabinet meeting.

Zarif’s tour of Scandinavian nations took place after he visited the two Persian Gulf states of Qatar and Kuwait on August 12 and 18 respectively to renew Iran’s proposal for maritime security and non-aggression pact.

He was also in France on Friday, where he held talks with French President Emmanuel Macron.

Zarif said his talks with Macron on how to implement the JCPOA were productive.

“France presented some suggestions to Iran on how to implement the JCPOA and the steps that both sides need to take. We also presented some suggestions on how to fully implement the JCPOA,” Zarif stated.

In an interview with France 24 aired on Friday, he said, “We are making progress but we still need to move forward and President Macron still needs to talk to his European partners and others.”

NA/PA

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