TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the European parties to the 2015 nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) have been slow in implementing the accord since the US withdrawal.

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“Europeans pledged to take certain steps after the US withdrawal from the JCPOA,” Zarif told Lebanon’s Arabic-language al-Mayadeen TV network, referring to the special purpose vehicle (SPV), the EU mechanism aimed at facilitating trade with Iran in the US sanctions era.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran has since provided the grounds for contact with all countries, and our priority is neighboring countries, because we have the largest trade with neighboring countries,” he added.

“Our economic priority is also (trading) with China and Russia and our affairs are progressing in all areas,” the top diplomat said.

“Europeans also pledged to compensate for the losses resulting from the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal, and one of those obligations was the creation of a financial and banking mechanism and, unfortunately, they were slow in meeting their obligations and are too cautious (in this regard),” Zarif went on to say. 

The European Union has vowed to counter US President Donald Trump’s renewed sanctions on Iran, including by means of a new law to shield European companies from punitive measures.

On May 8, the US president pulled his country out of the JCPOA, the nuclear deal that was achieved in Vienna in 2015 after years of negotiations among Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany).

Following the US exit, Iran and the remaining parties launched talks to save the accord.

Trump on August 6 signed an executive order re-imposing many sanctions on Iran, three months after pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal.

He said the US policy is to levy “maximum economic pressure” on the country.

The second batch of US sanctions against the Islamic Republic took effect on November 4.