All tagged JCPOA

Iran FM Says Europe Incapable of Bypassing US Sanctions

◢ Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said on Wednesday European powers were incapable of bypassing sanctions imposed on Tehran by the US after it withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal. Iran and six world powers agreed on a deal in 2015 that severely restricted Tehran's nuclear activities in return for sanctions relief and economic incentives.

France Urges Iran to Free Human Rights Lawyer

◢ France on Thursday called for Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh to be released and warned Tehran that its adherence to a nuclear accord does not give it a blank cheque on human rights. "We will do all we can to secure the release of Mrs Sotoudeh", French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told the upper chamber Senate.

Before Saudis Go Nuclear, They May Have to Follow Iran's Lead

◢ International monitors reminded Saudi Arabia this week that it still has work to do before delving deeper into an ambitious nuclear program that could transform how the kingdom generates its energy. Focus on Saudi Arabia’s nuclear program has risen in the last month after the U.S. Congress opened an investigation into the potentially illegal transfer of sensitive technologies to the kingdom.

Iran to Set Up its Part of Nuclear Deal Mechanism 'This Month'

◢ Iran hopes to have its part of a new payments vehicle—devised to bypass US sanctions—ready within a fortnight, its Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi said on Wednesday. "We hope it will be before the end of the Iranian calendar year," Araghchi told reporters in Vienna, referring to March 20 when the Iranian year ends.

Iran, France to Swap Ambassadors After Strained Ties

◢ Iran and France are set to exchange ambassadors, officials said on Wednesday, after months of tensions including over an alleged Iranian plot to bomb an opposition rally near Paris.  Bahram Ghasemi, a former envoy to Spain and Italy and current spokesman of the foreign ministry, has been appointed as Iran's new ambassador to France, an official source in Tehran told AFP.

Iran President Rejects FM Zarif's Resignation

◢ Iranian President Hassan Rouhani rejected Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif's resignation on Wednesday, the government's official website said. "I believe your resignation is against the country's interests and do not approve it," Rouhani wrote in a letter to Zarif, the website said.

Zarif Suggests He Was Undermined as Iran MPs Demand He Stays On

◢ Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, who led his country’s nuclear negotiations with world powers, signaled that his surprise decision to resign was because he was undermined in his role. About 150 Iranian lawmakers, or a third of the chamber, signed a letter addressed to the president petitioning to keep Zarif in his role, state-run media reported.

Iran Foreign Minister Zarif Announces Resignation on Instagram

◢ Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who was the lead negotiator in the 2015 nuclear deal, announced his resignation on Instagram on Monday, which can only take effect once President Hassan Rouhani accepts it. "I apologize for my inability to continue serving and for all the shortcomings during my term in office," Zarif said in a message posted on his verified Instagram account.

German President Under Fire Over Iran Telegram

◢ German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier came under fire for a congratulatory telegram sent to Iran for the Islamic revolution's 40th anniversary, with a Jewish leader on Monday joining a chorus of criticism. At the government's weekly briefing, foreign ministry spokesman Rainer Breul said there had been a "misunderstanding.”

Germany Rejects US Call to Leave Iran Nuclear Deal

◢ Germany on Friday rejected an appeal by US Vice President Mike Pence for Europeans to withdraw from the Iranian nuclear deal and isolate Tehran. Foreign Minister Heiko Maas defended the 2015 agreement under which Iran drastically scaled back its nuclear program in return for sanctions relief.

Pence Demands EU Allies Leave Iran Nuclear Deal

◢ US Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday demanded that European Union allies leave the Iran nuclear deal and warned of further US sanctions on Tehran. Speaking at a conference in Poland attended by Israel and senior Arab leaders, Pence denounced Iran as the "greatest threat to peace and security in the Middle East" and accused the clerical regime of plotting a "new Holocaust" with its regional ambitions.

Europe Not to be Trusted: Iran Leader

◢ Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Friday that Europe "cannot be trusted", a week after the EU launched a trade mechanism to bypass US sanctions on Tehran. “These days there's talk of the Europeans and their proposals. My advice is that they shouldn't be trusted, just like the Americans," he said at a meeting with air force officials, his website reported.

Iran Revolutionary Guards Unveil 'New Ballistic Missile'

◢ Iran's Revolutionary Guards on Thursday unveiled a new ballistic missile with a range of 1,000 kilometres, their official news agency Sepah News reported. The move was the latest show of military might by the country as it celebrates the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution at a time of heightened tensions with the United States.

Rouhani Says Iran Ready to Accept Friendly US Ties if it 'Repents'

◢ Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Wednesday his country would be ready to establish "friendly relations" with the United States if it apologized for past wrongs. "Our slogan is friendly relations with the whole world," he said. That would even include "America, if it repents... and apologizes for its previous interferences in Iran, and is prepared to accept the greatness and dignity of the nation of Iran and the great Islamic Revolution.”

EU Backs Iran Trading System But Warns on Syria, Missiles

◢ The EU warned Tehran over its ballistic missile program and interference in the Syria conflict Monday, while welcoming a new mechanism to trade with Iran while bypassing US sanctions. In a long-awaited statement on Iran that has been the subject of more than a week of wrangling in Brussels, the EU restated its commitment to saving the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and took aim at Washington for abandoning the pact and reimposing sanctions.

Iran Welcomes New EU Trade Entity as First Step': Official

◢ Tehran on Thursday cautiously welcomed as a "first step" the expected launch of an EU trade entity aimed at saving Iran's nuclear deal by bypassing US sanctions. The special payment mechanism "is the first step within the set of commitments the Europeans have made to Iran which I hope will be fully implemented and not be incomplete," said deputy foreign minister Abbas Araghchi, according to state news agency IRNA.

Trump Says US Intelligence Services 'Naive,' 'Wrong' on Iran

◢ President Donald Trump on Wednesday attacked the US intelligence services as "naive" and "wrong" on the threat he says is posed by Iran. "Perhaps Intelligence should go back to school!" Trump said in a blistering tweet. "The Intelligence people seem to be extremely passive and naive when it comes to the dangers of Iran. They are wrong!" Trump tweeted.

Iran's Rouhani Tells Critics: Blame 'Oath-Breaker' US

◢ Iran's President Hassan Rouhani slammed his critics on Wednesday, defending the political achievements of a landmark 2015 nuclear deal and calling the US an "oath-breaker". Hardliners have repeatedly hammered the 2015 nuclear deal with six world powers since the early stages of negotiations, calling it a fool's errand and a deception.

Iran Denies Any Intention of Boosting Range of Missiles

◢ Iran has "no intention of increasing the range" of its missiles, a senior defense official said Tuesday, amid threats of European as well as US sanctions over its ballistic program. Iran has voluntarily limited the range of its missiles to 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles), sufficient to reach Israel and Western bases in the Middle East. But Washington and its allies have accused Tehran of pursuing enhanced missile capabilities that also threaten Europe.