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Europeans will benefit from independent role vs. US: Iran's Larijani

Iran's Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani (R) and former German foreign minister, Sigmar Gabriel, meet in Tehran on November 12, 2018. (Photo by IRNA)

Iran's Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani says playing a more independent role in the face of US adventurism will benefit all European countries as policies adopted by US President Donald Trump have caused problems for the entire world.

“The behavior of the US president has caused problems not only for Iran, but also for Europeans, and has led to bewildering conditions at international level,” Larijani said in a meeting on Monday with former German foreign minister, Sigmar Gabriel, in Tehran.

“It is felt that this situation will lead to security disruption in the world and will continue if Europe fails to play an independent role” in the face of the United States, Iran's top parliamentarian said.

Larijani emphasized that Iran and Europeans managed to boost their economic cooperation after the conclusion of the multilateral 2015 nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), but Trump's decision to withdraw from it and re-impose sanctions on Tehran caused problems for all parties to the accord.

Trump's administration announced on November 5 the re-imposition of the “toughest” sanctions ever against Iran's banking and energy sectors with the aim of cutting off the country's oil sales and crucial exports. The bans had been lifted under the nuclear deal, signed between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries -- the US, Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia.

A first round of American sanctions took effect in August, targeting Iran's access to the US dollar, metals trading, coal, industrial software, and auto sector.

Despite Washington's withdrawal, Iran has not left the deal yet, but stressed that the remaining signatories to the agreement have to work to offset the negative impacts of the US pullout for Iran if they wanted Tehran to remain in it.

The other parties to the JCPOA have repeatedly announced that the deal is working and should stay in place.

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Elsewhere in his remarks, Larijani noted that it would benefit all European countries, if they could play a more independent role in international developments.

“Independence of Europe is better than allowing a country like America to act in an irrational manner at international level,” the Iranian Parliament speaker pointed out, adding that the creation of another power pole in the world that would act reasonably would benefit global security as well.

Europe firm on maintaining Iran nuclear deal: Gabriel

The former German foreign minister, for his part, said European countries, particularly Germany and France, are resolute on maintaining the JCPOA and its achievements.

Europeans do not agree with all US policies and have different views about confronting Washington's approaches, Gabriel added.

He emphasized that many small- and medium-sized enterprises in Germany are independent of the United States and are keen to cooperate with Iran.

Speaking at a joint news conference with Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jagland in Berlin on Tuesday, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas criticized the re-imposition of the US sanctions on Iran, saying his country considered it to be a "wrong" move.

Maas added that precautions were being taken "to ensure that business can continue with Iran," warning that economic destabilization of Iran would endanger European countries' security interests.

In an online video message on November 6, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif lashed out at the United States for imposing "illegal and draconian" sanctions on Tehran, saying Washington would once again regret its "unwise measures."

"The US administration appears to believe that imposing illegal, draconian sanctions on Iran will bring about such pain to our nation that it will force us to submit to its will no matter how absurd, unlawful or fundamentally flawed its demands are," Zarif said.

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