The EU should realise that the problem in the dispute over the Iranian nuclear deal with the international community is not Iran, but the U.S., the Iranian vice-president said on Tuesday.
“Therefore, the EU should not demand that we, but rather the U.S., remain committed to the nuclear deal,” Eshaq Jahangiri said, as reported by state news agency IRNA.
According to Jahangiri, the 2015 deal was historically important for peace and security in the world, which Washington has now placed in jeopardy.
The deal between Iran and the permanent members of the UN Security Council — the U.S., Britain, Russia, France and China — plus Germany and the EU limited Iran’s nuclear programme in exchange for the lifting of sanctions.
U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the agreement in 2018 and reimposed sanctions on Iran, over the objections of European allies and in spite of international inspectors confirming that Tehran was complying with the terms of the deal.
Tehran in retaliation started enriching uranium and increasing stockpiles beyond agreed levels earlier this month.
Jahangiri said on Tuesday that Washington was behaving “in an inhuman way” by imposing sanctions on Iran in violation of the terms of the deal.
If an international treaty is to talk about obligations, then all the contracting parties must adhere to their obligations and not just Iran, Jahangiri said.
As soon as that happens, “Iran will fully return to the deal within hours,” said Jahangiri. But if not, Iran will gradually reduce its obligations to the deal,” he said.
In particular, the Iranian vice-president demanded that the new U.S. sanctions, which have led oil-rich Iran into an economic crisis, should be lifted.
If that happens, President Hassan Rowhani has agreed to begin negotiations with the government of U.S. President Donald Trump immediately.