Published: Mon, June 10, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Europeans are in no position to criticise Iran, says Javad Zarif

Europeans are in no position to criticise Iran, says Javad Zarif

But a year ago the United State unilaterally withdrew from the deal and reimposed sanction on Iran - sparking the current tensions.

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono is expected to travel to Tehran before Mr Abe's arrival to meet his Iranian equal, Javad Zarif.

On Friday Iran rejected an idea mooted by France to re-open nuclear talks, warning that seeking to broaden the existing agreement could lead to its collapse. European efforts to create direct central bank-to-central bank mechanisms to facilitate trade have faltered, and it remains to be seen what Europe can do beyond its ongoing political commitment to the deal.

Tehran has urged Europe to uphold commitments made under the deal and help Iran circumvent USA sanctions.

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"We have said it clearly that economic war is not different from a military war at all", he said.

European and Western policies 'have only caused damage in the region, ' Zarif said.

Iran has also said that if the other parties to the JCPOA do not speed up work on mitigating the effects of USA sanctions, by early July it may stop abiding by restrictions on the level to which it can enrich uranium and on modifications to its Arak heavy water reactor.

Meanwhile, Iran on Sunday announced what it described as a new surface-to-air missile battery it called the Khordad 15.

The tensions recently soared over America deploying an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers to the Persian Gulf over a still-unexplained threat it perceives from Tehran.

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Tehran has rejected the US allegation. It has yet to transit the Strait of Hormuz to reach the Persian Gulf, likely to both protect a vessel already within range of airstrikes on Iran and not to provoke a response from Iran's paramilitary Revolutionary Guard, which routinely harasses American naval ships.

German foreign Minister Heiko Maas has called for the start of his visit to Tehran, Iran to get the controversial nuclear agreement just for economic reasons.

The UN's nuclear watchdog said Monday it was "worried about increasing tensions" over Iran's nuclear program, after Tehran said it might stop respecting more elements of a 2015 worldwide deal.

He said Germany would not accept "less-for-less" in any negotiations over saving Iran's nuclear deal.

Maas stressed that the agreement was for the security of Europe is important.

"We want to avoid any misunderstandings that would lead to automatic reactions that could lead to violence", Mr Maas said. "A unsafe escalation of existing tensions can also lead to a military escalation".

But Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, the UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, said any new nuclear deal would have to include concerns such as Iran's ballistic missile programme and regional behaviour.

On a weekend stopover in Iraq en route to Tehran, Maas warned of the dangers that conflict with Iran posed for the entire Middle East, saying the Europeans were convinced it was worth trying to keep the nuclear pact with Iran.

Japan wants to lower the temperature, officials say, with Abe winning Trump's blessing for the mediation trip when the United States leader visited Tokyo last month.

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