Rouhani tells Macron Europe's package does not meet Iranian demands

Rouhani tells Macron Europe's package does not meet Iranian demands

Rouhani tells Macron Europe's package does not meet Iranian demands

The Iranian president highlighted the problems that Washington's unilateral withdrawal from the JCPOA has created for the European companies involved in Iranian projects.

Foreign ministers of China, Russia, France, Britain, Germany and Iran attend a meeting to discuss how to save the Iran nuclear deal following the US withdrawal, in Vienna, Austria, July 6, 2018.

Zarif left for Vienna late Thursday to take part in the meeting of foreign ministers of JCPOA members.

They also agreed to enlist other countries to counter USA economic sanctions, said European Union chief diplomat Federica Mogherini, who chaired the Vienna meeting.

"Any hostile attempt by the United States will be followed by an exorbitant cost for them", said deputy commander of the Sarollah Revolutionary Guards base in Teheran Esmail Kowsari, according to the Young Journalists Club, affiliated with Iran's national broadcaster.

The pillars of the European Union's strategy are: European Investment Bank lending, a special measure to shield EU companies from United States secondary sanctions and a Commission proposal that EU governments make direct money transfers to Iran's central bank to avoid USA penalties.

Rouhani warned on Wednesday that Iran could reduce its co-operation with the United Nations nuclear watchdog if the deal collapses. In addition, the bloc has authorized the European Investment Bank to finance Iranian projects.

He said he did not think this round of talks would end negatively but it was likely more negotiations would be needed on the issue.

"They must be implemented by the time the sanctions come into force", the minister demanded. Washington has since told countries they must stop buying the Opec producer's oil from November 4 or face financial consequences. Several major firms - including France's Total and Peugeot, and Russia's Lukoil - have said they are preparing to leave.

Iranians have complained that the hoped-for rise in foreign investment and trade after the deal has not materialized.

Since Trump s announcement, Iran s rial currency has fallen, prices have risen and the country has been hit by street protests and strikes.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas conceded that "we won't be able to compensate for all the effects of enterprises withdrawing from Iran because they see their American business interests threatened by the sanctions".

"We want to make it clear to Iran today that it still has economic benefits from this agreement", Maas told reporters.

Any confirmation that Iranian authorities were behind the plot could make it politically hard for European leaders to continue to back the nuclear deal.

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