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Europeans are Not in A Position to Criticize Iran: Zarif

TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Sunday that European countries are “in no position” to criticize Iran while his German counterpart Heiko Maas has landed in Tehran, Asharq Al Awsat said Monday.
Maas’ visit is part of a concerted European effort to preserve the 2015 nuclear deal and defuse growing tensions between Tehran and Washington.
Europeans are certainly not in a position to criticize Iran, even for matters that have nothing to do with the agreement, Zarif said in televised remarks to reporters.
Iran has signed the historic agreement with China, Russia, Germany, Britain, France and the United States, which has eased sanctions in exchange for Tehran reducing its nuclear program.
But last year, US President Donald Trump pulled out of the deal and Washington has since imposed drastic sanctions on Iran.
According to the Fars news agency, Zarif reportedly said that Maas’ visit had shown that Germany was trying to “keep alive the (nuclear) deal.
But, suggesting that Iran did not consider Maas as a mediator with Washington, he added, it is unlikely that the German Foreign Minister will go to Tehran to carry a special message.
European and Western policies “only caused damage in the region,” said Zarif.
On Monday, Iran criticized the European signatories of the nuclear pact for failing to save the deal after the withdrawal of the United States, state television reported.
“So far, the Europeans have not taken any concrete steps to guarantee the interests of Iran … Tehran will not discuss any issues beyond the nuclear deal,” he said. Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Abbas Mousavi.
“The EU is not in a position to question Iran’s problems beyond the nuclear deal,” he added.
In May, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said Tehran would no longer implement parts of the nuclear deal and threatened to go further if the remaining parties failed to ease the sanctions. Zarif said the Europeans “have a duty” to ensure that economic relations with Iran return to normal.
On Friday, Iran rejected France’s proposal to reopen the nuclear talks, warning that the expansion of the existing deal could lead to its collapse.
Last month, Iran reduced certain commitments made under the 2015 agreement and warned that it would resume refining of uranium refining to a greater degree than that allowed by the deal if the Europe was not protecting its trade from the sanctions imposed by the United States.
Washington has sent more military forces to the Middle East, including an aircraft carrier, B-52 bombers, and Patriot missiles, as part of a show of force against what US officials call Iranian threats against the United States.
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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