Iran says Vienna meeting "last chance" to save nuclear deal

Source: Xinhua| 2019-06-28 21:35:43|Editor: Yamei
Video PlayerClose

TEHRAN, June 28 (Xinhua) -- Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman said that the imminent meeting in the Austrian capital of Vienna on Iranian nuclear deal on Friday is the "last chance" to save the accord after the U.S. exit last year, Press TV reported.

On Friday, a joint commission meeting of the Iranian nuclear deal or the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), headed by Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi and EU Deputy Foreign Policy Chief Helga Schmid, will gather representatives from the deal's remaining signatories in Vienna to discuss implementing the accord.

"I believe this meeting could be the last opportunity for the remaining signatories of the JCPOA to convene and seek how they can implement their commitments toward Iran," Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi said.

On May 8, Iran withdrew from implementing part of the JCPOA and threatened to take more actions in case Tehran's interests under the pact cannot be guaranteed.

Accordingly, Iran spared a 60-day deadline for the signatories of the nuclear deal to address Iran's interests under the deal.

Mousavi said that despite supporting Iran's interests in several statements, the remaining parties to the deal have failed to take any practical step.

"We hope that the remaining members of the JCPOA will take a practical and effective step this time to persuade Iran to fulfill its obligations," he was quoted as saying.

In January, EU announced the establishment of a payment channel, known as the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX), to secure trade with Iran and skirt U.S. anti-Iran sanctions after Washington pulled out of the 2015 landmark nuke deal in May 2018.

Iran says that EU's step has not been enough since it has not been implemented yet.

After the U.S. withdrawal from the deal, Iran resorted to its "strategic patience" as it decided to remain in the deal and give diplomacy a chance, Mousavi said.

However, under U.S. pressures, the Europeans have dragged their feet and have not taken practical measures to save Iran's interests, he added.

"We need to see how INSTEX will work and how it will be operational, and time is also important for Iran," he said.

"If the Europeans take a step and materialize INSTEX, it should meet our needs," Mousavi noted.

"But if we realize that this is a commonplace and superficial mechanism, Iran will definitely not accept it and will firmly take the second step (to suspend more commitments pertaining to the nuclear deal) at the announced time (July 7)," the spokesman added.

On Friday, Araqchi said that Iran has run out of "strategic patience" regarding the Europeans' "inaction," Press TV reported.

Tehran expects a "tangible" action from the other signatories, he added.

In a letter to EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini, Iranian Foreign Minster Mohammad Javad Zarif stated that Tehran reserves the right to suspend its obligations and only mutual commitment to the deal could save the accord, the report said.

On Tuesday, Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani said that Iran would suspend more of its commitments under 2015 nuclear deal early July.

Iran would "decisively" start the "second phase" of freezing its obligations from July 7, and it would serve as a message to "those countries, which have construed Iran's patience as weakness and inaction," he added.

The EU has announced that it is doing its utmost to help Iran gain benefits from the deal.