Vienna meet on nuclear deal supports Iran's continued oil, gas exports
22:16, Jul 6, 2018
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However, Rouhani told French President Emmanuel Macron by telephone on Thursday that the package of economic measures failed to offset sufficiently the effects of the US pullout and its re-imposition of nuclear-related sanctions.
The new round of diplomacy has been clouded after security services said they had foiled an alleged plot to bomb a Paris rally by an exiled Iranian opposition group, the People's Mujahedeen of Iran.
The meeting Friday between Iran, Germany, Britain, France, Russia and China will consider proposals for salvaging the 2015 deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which is meant to prevent Tehran from developing nuclear weapons.
During the phone call, the German chancellor said that the discussion on details of the agreement should continue.
"To save the deal, other signatories should compensate for U.S. sanctions", a senior Iranian official told Reuters on Friday.
As The Guardian notes, the threats "will bring back memories of the latter years of the 1980s Iran-Iraq War, when U.S. forces attacked Iranian territorial waters after a United States ship struck an Iranian mine".
While the other signatories have vowed to stay in the accord, dozens of European, Russian, and Asian companies have announced plans to pull out of Iran for fear of incurring US penalties when sanctions are reimposed in November. This was extrapolated by USA officials as a threaten to shut down all regional oil shipping, when it could just as easily be interpreted as noting that Iran can basically export its oil under the guise of it coming from other regional countries, which is common behavior during sanctions.
The US unilaterally withdrew from the Iranian nuclear deal in May.
Rouhani told Merkel the US exit from the JCPOA has caused some problems in economic areas, banking transactions and oil sector for the foreign companies which have made investment in Iran, making them reluctant about continuing their operations in the country. But even when those sanctions did materialize, Iran did not block the strait.
Rohani did not specify what he found lacking in the European Union package of measures to counter USA sanctions. Further sanctions on oil and transactions with the central bank of Iran will come into effect November 6.
They also vowed to maintain financial channels, promote export credit cover and air, sea and overland transport links, and to work for the "the protection of companies from the extraterritorial effects of United States sanctions". The bank now has a policy of not lending to Iran and other countries listed as high-risk by a global terrorism financing watchdog.
Beyond the European Investment Bank plan, other elements of the European economic package that Rohani criticized as insufficient include a special measure to shield EU companies from the US sanctions and a proposal for EU governments to make direct money transfers to Iran's central bank to avoid USA penalties.
Now, the threat of USA sanctions has increasingly darkened the outlook for Iran's economy, helping to stoke a plunge in the Iranian rial this year that has driven up prices and provoked street protests and strikes.
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