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Political Sympathy Not Enough, Europe Should Take More Practical Steps, Says Iran

DIVYIA ASTHANA | 0
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| May 21 , 2018 , 14:46 IST

In the aftermath of the US withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal, many nations from the European Union (EU) expressed 'sympathy', but according to Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif's statement on Sunday, political sympathy is "not enough".

During a meeting with the visiting EU's Energy Chief Miguel Arias Canete, Zarif said that the European Union should take more "practical steps" to guarantee the economic interests of Iran.

"With the exit of the US from the nuclear agreement, expectations from the European Union (EU) to preserve the achievements of the deal are high," Xinhua quoted Zarif as saying.

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"Under the current circumstances, political support of Europe to the nuke deal is not sufficient," Zarif said.

"EU should take further practical steps to continue economic cooperation with Iran," he said, adding that "EU should boost investments in Iran."

The Iranian minister expressed concerns that Europe's commitment to implementing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal, is contrary to the withdrawal of major European companies from Iran projects after US withdrew.

Zarif further called for OPEC member states to remain united in their upcoming decision to secure the interests of the members and market stability.

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The EU's Energy Chief Miguel Arias Canete had arrived for a two-day visit in Tehran on Friday to assure Iran that the European Union wants to maintain open trade and cooperation with Iran despite the US's decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal.

"We will have to ask for (sanction) waivers, for carve-outs for the (European) companies that make investments," said Canete on Saturday.

Iran has been pushing the European Union for a revival of the 1996 "blocking statute" regulation which exempts EU companies and courts from complying with foreign sanction laws.

US President Donald Trump on May 8 had announced the withdrawal of the US from the Iran nuclear deal as well as the re-imposition of sanctions against Iran as well as countries dealing with Iran.