Iran's Zarif Threatens to Continue Reducing Nuclear Deal Commitments

Iran's foreign minister says Europeans must guarantee that Iran can sell and collect revenue from oil

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif attends a meeting in Tehran on July 27, 2019.
Atta Kenare / AFP

Iran is set to further cut its commitments to its international nuclear deal unless its European partners move to protect it from U.S. sanctions by ensuring it can sell oil and receive income, its foreign minister told state television Wednesday.

"Under current circumstances and if no action is taken [by the Europeans], we will take the next step [in cutting commitments]," Mohammad Javad Zarif said, adding that its European partners should guarantee Iran could sell its oil and collect the revenue.

Iran has said it will reduce its commitment to the nuclear accord in stages and may even withdrew from the pact unless the Europeans find ways to shield its economy from the U.S. sanctions.

The U.S. is meanwhile set to announce this week it will renew sanctions waivers for five Iran nuclear programs that allow Russia, China and European countries to continue civilian nuclear cooperation with Iran, the Washington Post reported on Tuesday.

President Donald Trump, in an Oval Office meeting last week, sided with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin who argued for renewing the waivers over objections by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and national security adviser John Bolton, the Post said.

Mnuchin “argued to Trump that if the sanctions were not again waived as required by law by Aug. 1, the United States would have to sanction Russian, Chinese and European firms that are involved in projects inside Iran that were established as part of the 2015 nuclear deal,” the Post said, citing six unnamed officials.