◢ Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif warned Sunday that failure to save the nuclear deal after the exit of the United States would be "very dangerous" for Tehran. "Failure of the JCPOA (nuclear deal) would be very dangerous for us," Zarif told members of the Iran Chamber of Commerce, quoted by the official IRNA news agency.
◢ The UN's top court will in October hear a complex case brought by Iran against the United States seeking to recover billions in frozen assets, which US courts say should go to American victims of terror attacks. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) said in a statement Friday it will "hold public hearings in the case concerning Certain Iranian Assets (Islamic Republic of Iran v. United States of America)" at its seat in The Hague.
◢ Iran's oil minister walked out of a key meeting with OPEC peers on Thursday, as a rift deepened with regional rival Saudi over its push to ramp up the cartel's oil output. "I do not think we can reach an agreement," Bijan Namdar Zanganeh told reporters at his Vienna hotel after storming out of talks with a group of ministers on the eve of a crucial OPEC meet.
◢ Iran has "no need to join" global agreements on areas such as terrorism and money laundering, the country's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Wednesday as the issue divides parliament. Describing parliament as "mature and wise", Khamenei said lawmakers "must independently make legislation on issues such as terrorism or combating money laundering."
◢ Iran's oil minister on Tuesday said his country would resist unwinding a landmark OPEC agreement to cap oil production, and blamed US President Donald Trump for pushing up crude prices. "I don't believe in this meeting we can reach agreement," Bijan Namdar Zanganeh told reporters in Vienna ahead of the crucial talks.
◢ An Iranian military chief cautioned Tuesday that reaching any understanding with Washington, as suggested in a letter signed by a group of political activists, would spell the end of the Islamic republic. "Today everybody knows that striking an understanding with the United States means the death of the Islamic republic," said General Mohammad Ali Jafari, commander of the elite Republican Guards.
◢ Most French companies hoping to keep doing business in Iran after the US imposes new sanctions on the country will find it impossible to do so, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said Tuesday. These companies "won't be able to stay because they need to be paid for the products they deliver to or build in Iran, and they cannot be paid because there is no sovereign and autonomous European financial institution" capable of shielding them," Le Maire told BFM television.
◢ Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will visit Austria and Switzerland next month as part of a campaign by Tehran to secure continued European backing for the 2015 nuclear accord. Relations between Tehran and Bern, which represents Iran's interests in the United States, have been deepening in recent years, and Rouhani will be welcomed with full military honors, a statement from the Swiss presidency said.
◢ Iranians had few options to watch their World Cup opener against Morocco, bar a few cinemas and cafes, but after their shock victory Friday, they burst out into the streets of Tehran in rare and wild celebration. An own goal by Morocco's Aziz Bouhaddouz in the 94th minute handed Iran their first World Cup victory in 20 years.
◢ French carmaker Renault will maintain its presence in Iran while taking measures to avoid the risk of penalties for breaching renewed US sanctions, CEO Carlos Ghosn said Friday. "We will not abandon it, even if we have to downsize very strongly," he said at the annual shareholders' meeting in Paris.
◢ Iran, China and Russia may seek ways to salvage the nuclear deal ditched by Donald Trump when their leaders meet this weekend at a summit on the Chinese coast. The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), a regional security bloc led by China and Russia, is set to hold its 18th annual gathering in the city of Qingdao on Saturday and Sunday.
◢ France, Britain, Germany and the EU on Wednesday sent the United States a joint official request for their companies to be exempt from punitive measures resulting from fresh US sanctions on Iran. French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire said the three countries and the EU were asking the US "to exempt European businesses doing legitimate trade in Iran from all extraterritorial American sanctions.”
◢ The EU said Tuesday that a "first assessment" indicated that Iran's announcement that it has launched a plan to boost uranium enrichment capacity did not breach its commitments under the beleaguered 2015 nuclear deal. Iran has notified the International Atomic Energy Agency that it plans to open a centre for producing new centrifuges, the Islamic Republic's nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi said Tuesday, drawing an angry response from arch-foe Israel.
◢ Iran has notified the International Atomic Energy Agency that it has launched a plan to increase its uranium enrichment capacity, nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi said Tuesday. "A letter was submitted to the agency yesterday regarding the start of certain activities," said Salehi, a vice president and head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization.
◢ French President Emmanuel Macron meets Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday on the second leg of his European trip amid deep differences over how to contain Iran's ambitions in the Middle East. It will be the third meeting of the two leaders in Paris since last July, and while they agree on the threats posed by Tehran's missile projects and foreign interventions, they differ strongly on the response.
◢ Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Monday warned European leaders against their "dream" of Tehran continuing to curb its nuclear programme while finding itself under new economic sanctions. Khamenei was speaking nearly a month after President Donald Trump announced the United States was pulling out of the landmark Iran nuclear deal.
◢ France's PSA said Monday that it would pull out of two joint ventures to sell its cars in Iran to avoid the risk of US sanctions after Washington decided to withdraw from a key nuclear deal with Tehran. "The group has begun to suspend its joint venture activities, in order to comply with US law by August 6, 2018," the automaker said in a statement.
◢ Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu embarks Monday on a three-day European tour in Germany set to be dominated by strategic differences on Iran, as leaders attempt to rescue the nuclear deal after US withdrawal.
◢ French oil major Total said Friday the probability of winning an exemption from US sanctions against Iran to continue a major gas field project was very faint. On Friday, Total's chairman Patrick Pouyanné told shareholders that the prospect of a sanctions exemption was dim.
◢ Iran's oil minister on Wednesday gave French energy giant Total 60 days to win a sanctions waiver from Washington or it would lose its stake in a multi-billion-dollar gas project. "Total has 60 days to negotiate with the US government," said Bijan Zanganeh, according to the oil ministry's Shana news agency.
◢ India will keep trading with Iran and Venezuela despite the threat of fallout from US sanctions against the two countries, Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj said Monday. Swaraj, asked at a news conference whether US action against Iran and Venezuela would damage India, said the country would not make foreign policy "under pressure"
◢ Iran's president will attend a summit with his Chinese and Russian counterparts next month, officials in Beijing said Monday, as they try to salvage the nuclear deal thrown into upheaval by Donald Trump. China, Russia and European powers, all of which signed the 2015 Iran nuclear accord, are scrambling to save the pact following the US president's decision to quit the agreement and reinstate sanctions.
◢ Germany's biggest lenders have shied away from business with Iran after past penalties for breaching US sanctions, but smaller banks have leapt on opportunities afforded by the nuclear deal rejected by Donald Trump. Officials at Germany’s central bank believe that much has so far changed for business with Iran.
◢ European countries have until the end of May to propose ways to mitigate the effects of the US withdrawal from a landmark nuclear deal between world powers and Tehran, a senior Iranian official said Friday. Tehran has threatened to restart its uranium enrichment program at an "industrial level" if the 2015 pact falls apart.
◢ Signatories of the Iran nuclear deal are meeting in Vienna on Friday in a bid to save the agreement, as Iran warned the deal had been put "in intensive care" by Washington's dramatic withdrawal earlier this month. For the first time since the accord came into force in 2015, China, Russia, France, Britain and Germany will gather—at Iran's request—without the United States, which pulled out on May 8.
◢ Iran is still implementing the 2015 accord over its nuclear program, according to a report by the UN's nuclear watchdog. The International Atomic Energy Agency report, seen by AFP, shows that Iran is abiding by the deal's key restrictions on its nuclear facilities.
◢ German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang defended the Iran nuclear deal on Thursday, with Li hinting that terminating the pact would complicate negotiations with North Korea. Merkel and Li showed a united front on Iran and free trade—two issues that have seen high-profile interventions by US President Donald Trump—during their meeting at the opulent Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
◢ Iran cannot "interact" with the United States as it is a country whose word cannot be trusted, supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was quoted as saying on Wednesday. His comments came after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday warned that Iran would be hit with the "strongest sanctions in history" and cautioned European firms against continuing to do business in Tehran.
◢ French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Wednesday that the United States risks further destabilizing the Middle East after Washington warned Iran faced the "strongest sanctions in history.” Le Drian warned Wednesday of a "regional explosion" because of the Syrian civil war and the Iranian nuclear crisis.
◢ Iran's environment chief said Tuesday that a government committee had concluded there was no evidence against wildlife activists rounded up on spying charges in recent months. Isa Kalantari, head of the government's department of environment, told state news agency IRNA that the conclusion had been reached by a special four-man committee.
◢ The EU's foreign policy chief said Monday there was "no alternative" to the Iran nuclear deal, after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo vowed unprecedented sanctions against Tehran following Washington's withdrawal from the pact.