Europe lacks sovereignty even inside its borders: Iran

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Seyyed Abbas Araqchi meets UK's Foreign Office Minister Andrew Murrison in Tehran on June 23, 2019. (Photo by the Iranian Foreign Ministry)

Iran says it is now convinced that the Europeans’ political unwillingness, and NOT their inability, is to blame for their failure to fulfill their commitments under the 2015 agreement.

The remarks were made by Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Seyyed Abbas Araqchi in a Sunday meeting with British Deputy Foreign Secretary for the Middle East Andrew Murrison in Tehran.

“We are convinced that Europe’s lack of commitment to its JCPOA undertakings was not because of its incapability, but lack of determination," Araqchi said.

"Europe is not ready to pay any cost for preserving the JCPOA," he added.

"The European companies dare not to disobey the US Treasury Department’s orders, which means Europe’s lack of sovereignty, even inside its own borders,” Araqchi added.

Back on May 8, on the first anniversary of the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal, Iran announced that it would suspend the implementation of some of its commitments under the deal, adding that it would stop exporting excess uranium and heavy water, setting a 60-day deadline for the five remaining parties to the deal to take practical measures towards ensuring its interests in the face of the American sanctions.

In his Sunday comments, Araqchi said the decision to reduce Iran’s commitments under the JCPOA is a national and irreversible decision, and Tehran will keep scaling down its commitments until its demands are met.

Earlier in the day, Iran had vowed that it would suspend more commitments if the Europeans do not act seriously as per the accord.

"Be sure that if the opposite side does not carry out an appropriate measure within the next two weeks, we will take more steps to stop implementing our commitments," Kamal Kharrazi, who serves as the head of Iran's Strategic Council on Foreign Relations, said in a meeting with Murrison.

He; however, emphasized that Iran's suspension of fulfilling its commitments would not be tantamount to the country's exit from the nuclear accord, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

He added that Iran is resolute on the suspension of parts of its commitments under the JCPOA in accordance with the deal's text.

UK lacks proper understanding of world realities

In the Sunday talks, Araqchi also lashed out at the UK government’s one-sided stances on regional issues, including its baseless accusations against Iran after the recent attacks on oil tankers, and said "it appears that the British government’s entanglement with the predicament of Brexit has prevented it from having a correct understanding of the global realities."

He also said that London's "immature support for the bully-style measures of Washington will result in nothing but an increase in the Iranians’ historical aversion to the UK policies.”

Araqchi's comments came after Murrison accused Iran of being behind the recent oil tanker attacks, warning that Iran "needs to stop" what he called attacks in the Gulf of Oman.

Murrison said the UK believes Iran "almost certainly bears responsibility for the attacks" and that the UK is concerned over activities in the region.

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