Iran rejects US remarks against its right to uranium enrichment

Donald Trump

GETTYDominique de Villepin on Tuesday said France could not count itself among America’s closest allies

Major powers and Iran agreed on Friday to move quickly to offset the USA pullout from its nuclear deal and Washington's renewed sanctions, with Tehran pressuring Europe to come up with a package of economic measures by May 31.

Iran had warned of " if the White House withdraws from the agreement - known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA - and said it would also if the USA pulled out. "The Europeans need to table a resolution against the protest this action".

Senior diplomats from Iran and five world powers (Russia, Britain, France, China and Germany) showed their determination to save the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) the Iran nuclear deal at the special meeting of the Joint Commission of parties to the JCPOA.

The lead Iranian nuclear negotiator, deputy foreign minister Abbas Araghchi, said after Friday's talks that "the achievement was a united position by all participants" to try to save the deal.

The talks between senior officials aimed at fleshing out the package of measures to keep oil and investments flowing. Trump is reimposing US sanctions against Tehran, threatening to scupper the deal and prompt Iranian retaliation.

The U.N. atomic watchdog policing the pact said on Thursday Iran continued to comply with the terms of the deal, but could be faster and more proactive in allowing snap inspections.

The Iranian diplomat added, the Islamic Republic needs a guarantee it will be able to continue to sell its oil on world markets, have worldwide banking access and broad trade protections.

"The next step is to find guarantees for that package", he said.

That, at least, is pretty much the strategy that Pompeo unveiled at the beginning of this week, though it doesn't by any means suggest that it'll be a successful one since critics have already pointed out that a lot of it depends on whether the USA can get other countries to go along with the sanctions, which might prove a lot tougher than the United States thinks.

Poland's Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz said Warsaw - a staunch ally of Washington - had not decided yet whether to back the ban, potentially complicating a decision that needs unanimous backing from the EU's 28 members.

Tehran wants compensation to counter a White House plan to re-impose sanctions.

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The United States is ready to respond if Iran decides to resume its nuclear program, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Monday, Reuters reported.

Speaking in Tehran, the Iranian capital, President Hassan Rouhani rejected U.S. demands dismissing Pompeo's conditions as "sham" diplomacy. "We'll try to cling to the deal hoping that there is a possibility of a transaction, but we're under no illusions".

Shamkhani said Trump's withdrawal has brought the nuclear deal to collapse and in order to revive it, the Europeans have to guarantee implementing all the obligations they have toward Iran under the JCPOA.

Are there still people who believe that the major European banks which, after signing the deal in 2015, did not welcome close ties with Iran, would change their policy in the current worse circumstances?

Iran has so far benefited less from the accord than it had initially hoped, partly because of remaining US sanctions that have deterred major Western investors from doing business with Tehran.

He called on them to "guarantee the total sales of Iran's oil", meaning that Europe must promise to make up for any oil sales from third countries which are cancelled because of United States sanctions.

Trump denounced the accord, completed under his predecessor Barack Obama, because it did not cover Iran's ballistic missile programme, its role in Middle East conflicts or what happens after the deal begins to expire in 2025.

Policy on import curbs will likely be decided over the next few months after taking into account the responses of other users of oil, including China, India, South Korea, France and Italy, he said.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Kitco Metals Inc.

Information for this article was contributed by Michael Birnbaum of The Washington Post. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in commodities, securities or other financial instruments.

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