Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has hailed talks between Iran and the EU over salvaging the nuclear deal as a “good start.”
Zarif made the remarks following a meeting with his French, British and German counterparts the European Union’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini in Brussels on Tuesday.
“We are on the right track … a lot will depend on what we can do in next few weeks,” said Zarif.
He added that progress had been made towards a political agreement on measures that should be taken to keep the nuclear deal in place following Washington’s withdrawal.
“Constructive meeting with EU High Rep & E3 ministers in Brussels, following successful Beijing & Moscow visits. Positive start with solid political commitments. All agreed that much remains to be done in coming weeks to practically guarantee economic benefits for Iranian people,” tweeted Zarif following the meeting.
Constructive meeting with EU High Rep & E3 ministers in Brussels, following successful Beijing & Moscow visits. Positive start with solid political commitments. All agreed that much remains to be done in coming weeks to practically guarantee economic benefits for Iranian people. pic.twitter.com/SFJx3bnjIb
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) May 15, 2018
Zarif also said that sanctions US against the governor of Iran’s central bank Valiollah Seif were illegal.
Following the meeting Mogherini reiterated the EU’s determination to keep the nuclear deal in place.
“We all agreed that we have a relative in intensive care and we all want to get him or her out of intensive care as quickly as possible,” she said.
While stressing that normalization of economic and trade relations with Tehran requires a central element of the agreement, she also voiced the bloc’s regrets of the US’ move.
“I cannot talk about legal or economic guarantees but I can talk about serious, determined, immediate work from the European side,” she added.
She also noted that all remaining parties had agreed to find practical solutions over the coming weeks, including continuing to sell Iran’s oil and gas products, maintaining effective banking transactions and protecting European investments in Iran.
Mogherini also read out a joint press release announcing plans “to launch intensive expert discussions with Iran” to address, among other things, the “protection of European Union economic operators and ensuring legal certainty.”
The Iranian foreign minister is in Brussels on the final leg of a whirlwind diplomatic tour, which has already taken him to Beijing and Moscow.
He is gauging international readiness to guarantee Iran’s interests if it decides to remain in the nuclear pact a week after President Donald Trump announced that the US was walking away from the JCPOA, which he described as a horrible deal.
Trump also said he would reinstate US nuclear sanctions on Iran and impose “the highest level” of economic bans on the Islamic Republic.
Iran has said it would remain in the JCPOA for now, pending negotiations with the other signatories before making a final decision.