TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Tehran’s provisional Friday prayers leader called on the Iranian diplomats to receive “strong guarantees” from the European parties to the 2015 nuclear agreement, also known as JCPOA, so that the country’s interests would be protected after the US withdrawal from the deal.

Addressing a large congregation of worshippers here in Tehran on Friday, Ayatollah Kazem Seddiqi pointed to the US moves against the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and described them as “a story full of grief”.

“Basically, the negotiations (before the deal) were held based on the removal of sanctions, but they were not lifted,” he said, adding that despite the US sanctions, Iran remained committed to the deal and limited its nuclear activities.

The cleric further warned the Iranian diplomats that receive “strong guarantees” from European parties to the deal that serve the Islamic Republic’ interests.

In relevant comments, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei urged that any decision to keep the 2015 nuclear deal running without the US should be conditional on “practical guarantees” from the three European parties to the JCPOA.

During a visit to the Farhangian University in Tehran on May 9, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei said Iranian administration officials are faced with a “tough test” of safeguarding the Iranian nation’s dignity in dealing with the US withdrawal from the nuclear agreement.

As regards the administration’s decision to consider saving the nuclear deal with the three European parties -France, Britain and Germany-, the Leader voiced distrust of the Europeans, stressing that any plan to maintain the deal must come with practical guarantees.

Without practical and definite assurance, it is impossible to keep the deal going, because the Europeans are likely to follow the US’s lead, Ayatollah Khamenei warned.

The Leader then hit back at the US president for his “silly and cheap” comments on Iran that included more than 10 lies, saying US President Donald Trump “made a damn mistake” threatening the Iranian establishment and nation.

In a speech from the White House on May 8, Trump accused Iran of sponsoring terrorism and seeking nukes before announcing the US withdrawal from the nuclear accord.

Following the controversial decision, President Rouhani said Iran weighs plans to remain in the agreement with the other five parties, namely Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany, provided that the remaining JCPOA parties ensure its full benefits for Iran.

In an open session of the Iranian Parliament on Wednesday morning, a number of lawmakers set fire to the JCPOA and to the US flag in a symbolic gesture of protest.