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Iran calls on Europe to avoid threats or pressure

© Belga

Iranian President Hassan Rohani urged European countries on Sunday to avoid “any threat or pressure” in negotiations with Tehran over its nuclear programme.

The Iranian president made the call while receiving Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney.

Under an agreement signed in 2015 in Vienna, the United States and the European parties (France, Germany and the United Kingdom) had undertaken to ease international sanctions on Tehran in exchange for restrictions on its nuclear programme.

However, the deal threatened to fall apart after former U.S. President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from it in 2018 and re-imposed punitive sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

Since Joe Biden became president of the United States, Washington, the European parties and Iran have been trying to salvage the 2015 Agreement.

Negotiations based on mutual trust and avoiding any threat or pressure are the best way to reduce the problems with the European partners at the bilateral, regional and international levels, Rohani said at the meeting, according to a press release from the Iranian presidency.

The Iranian president repeated earlier criticism of “Europe’s inactivity” on the commitments of the accord. He said Iran had committed itself to preserving it and was the only party to have paid the price for it.

His remarks came days after Britain, France and Germany abandoned a draft resolution denouncing Tehran at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN’s nuclear watchdog.

Tehran welcomed the decision on Thursday, saying that it allowed the path of diplomacy on the issue of Iran’s nuclear programme to be kept open.

On 23 February, Iran had begun to restrict certain IAEA inspections, following the expiry of a deadline set by its parliament for the lifting of U.S. sanctions.

Nevertheless, Iran and the IAEA concluded a temporary technical agreement two days before to limit the extent of the suspension of some inspections to a maximum of three months.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who was scheduled to meet his Irish counterpart later on Sunday, wrote on Friday on Twitter that he would soon present a “constructive and concrete action plan” developed by Tehran through the appropriate diplomatic channels.

The Brussels Times