Iranian President Will Stick to Nuclear Deal - if It’s Profitable

President Hassan Rohani is in Vienna to discuss nuclear deal, will meet with EU foreign ministers on Friday

Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen and Iranian President Hassan Rohani attend a news conference in Vienna, Austria, July 4, 2018.
\ LEONHARD FOEGER/ REUTERS

Iran will uphold the nuclear deal if it can continue to reap its economic benefits despite revived US sanctions, Iranian President Hassan Rohani said on Wednesday during a visit to Vienna.

The foreign ministers of Iran and five major powers will meet in the Austrian capital on Friday in an effort to save the agreement that is meant to prevent Iranian nuclear armament, the European Union confirmed.

The United States pulled out of the deal and took steps to reimpose economic sanctions in May, leaving Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China to salvage the 2015 agreement that is formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

"We will stick to it as far as possible, on the condition that we can profit from the JCPOA," Rohani told reporters after meeting Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen.

"If the other signatory states can guarantee Iran's interests, we will continue with the JCPOA without the US," he added.

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani and Austria's President Alexander Van der Bellen arrive at the Hofburg Palace in Vienna, Austria July 4, 2018
\ LISI NIESNER/ REUTERS

The nuclear pact that was agreed in Vienna in 2015 obliged Iran to curb its nuclear program and accept intrusive nuclear inspections to make sure that the Islamic Republic cannot develop nuclear weapons.

Western sanctions including an embargo on Iranian oil exports were lifted in return.
On Friday, the five powers are expected to present a plan to prevent renewed economic isolation of Iran in spite of the looming US sanctions.

Friday's meeting of the foreign ministers from Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China is due to be chaired by EU chief diplomat Federica Mogherini.