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Zarif Calls for Saving the ‘Nuclear Agreement’ | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks during a joint news conference with his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu (not pictured) in Istanbul January 4, 2014. REUTERS/Murad Sezer

London- Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif urged Europe to take the lead for the sake of rescuing the international agreement on Iran’s nuclear program signed in 2015, threatening that Iran may abandon the nuclear deal if the United States decides to withdraw from it.

“Europe should lead,” Zarif said in an interview published Saturday by Britain’s Guardian newspaper, considering that Trump is not reliable.

The Iranian foreign minister said he expected Trump to carry through his threat not to certify Iranian compliance in a state department report to Congress on 15 October. Congress would then have 60 days to re-impose sanctions suspended under the deal.

“The deal allowed Iran to continue its research and development. So we have improved our technological base. If we decide to walk away from the deal we would be walking away with better technology,” he stated.

Zarif continued, “If Europe, Japan, Russia and China decided to go along with the US, then I think that will be the end of the deal.” The deal aims at guaranteeing the peacefulness of the nuclear program and in return it stipulates a gradual lift of sanctions imposed on Iran since 2005.

Last Thursday, US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley slammed Russia for its attempt to shield Iran from International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspections. “If the Iran nuclear deal is to have any meaning, the parties must have a common understanding of its terms,” Haley said. “Without inspections, the Iran deal is an empty promise,” she added.