Iran criticized the European countries signing the 2015 nuclear agreement that they are not trying to rescue the deal after President Donald Trump previous year pulled the U.S. out of it and resumed sanctions against Tehran.
The UN's nuclear watchdog said Monday it was "worried about increasing tensions" over Iran's nuclear programme, after Tehran said it might stop respecting more elements of a 2015 worldwide deal.
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (L) receives his German counterpart Heiko Maas in the capital Tehran on June 10, 2019.
Iran said Sunday Europe was in no position to criticize Tehran for its military capabilities and called on the region's leaders to normalize trade ties with the Islamic Republic despite USA sanctions or face consequences.
The assessment comes at a time of sharply increased US-Iranian confrontation, a year after Washington abandoned an global agreement that imposed curbs on Tehran's nuclear programme in exchange for the lifting of financial sanctions.
Last month, Tehran announced it was suspending several commitments under the nuclear deal, and threatened to step up uranium enrichment if European countries did not act to protect it from the effects of the USA sanctions.
"It amounts, by definition, to economic terrorism because the United States is putting pressure in terms of what its president calls warfare on normal ordinary Iranians in order to change the policies of their government", he told reporters on the sidelines of the event. The UN nuclear watchdog says Iran is still abiding by the nuclear deal despite the US withdrawal. On Wednesday Abe travels to Tehran to discuss the nuclear deal. You may not expect that an economic war be launched against the ordinary people in Iran and then those who have launched the war and supported it remain safe. Germany is one of the signatories to the nuclear deal and has sought to keep Iran in the accord.
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"We want Iran-Europe trade to expand and Iran's economic growth to increase through INSTEX, and it is Iran's right to enjoy the financial benefits of the nuclear deal", he noted.
He expressed hope that the European states would take "more tangible and bigger practical measures" to meet Iran's expectations.
European nations had pledged to create a mechanism called INSTEX, which would allow Iran to continue to trade for humanitarian goods despite American sanctions.
"We tried, but it didn't work".
"Attempting to generate negotiating leverage 1 kg of uranium at a time will not bring sanctions relief", US Ambassador Jackie Wolcott said in her statement to the board.
Maas also said that, in his talks, he would stress his concerns about Iranian activity in Syria and Yemen. Trump has condemned a 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, signed by his predecessor Barack Obama, as flawed for not being permanent and for not encompassing other non-nuclear issues like Iran's ballistic missile programme or its role in conflicts around the Middle East.