Iran: No Time Limit to Maintain Nuclear Deal

Iran: No Time Limit to Maintain Nuclear Deal

Tuesday, 4 September, 2018 - 10:00
Iranian Foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi (AFP Photo/ATTA KENARE)
London- Asharq Al-Awsat
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi denied on Tuesday reports claiming there was a specific time-frame between Tehran and European countries to find mechanisms for economic cooperation. However, he stressed the need to speed up Tehran's access to "practical" guarantees to compensate for US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and resumption of economic sanctions.

In his weekly press briefing, Qasemi said his country was considering compensation mechanisms for the aftermath of the US withdrawal from the agreement. He denied statements that recent negotiations included Iran's regional intervention and ballistic missile development, asserting that they discussed the financial system, industries, technology and economic issues.

"Iran's behavior would be in line with its interests," asserted Qasemi.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Thursday that Iran must be open to discussions on its missile program and regional intervention.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei questioned the fate of the nuclear deal and called on Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani to “stop having hopes in them on the issues like the pact or economic matters.”

Last week, Rouhani told parliament during his debriefing session that he informed his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron that Tehran had a "third way" to deal with the ongoing crisis other than simply abandoning or staying in the nuclear deal.

Before heading to Tehran for his first visit, British Secretary of State Alistair Burt said talks with Iranian officials will discuss Iran’s ballistic missile arsenal and its role in wars in the Middle East.

Back in May, Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi demanded that European countries provide “guarantees” within 60 days to safeguard Iran’s interests after the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal.

“The Europeans have between 45 and 60 days to give the necessary guarantees to safeguard Iranian interests and compensate the damages caused by the US pullout,” AFP quoted Araghchi as saying.

Qasemi told reporters there could not be a time-frame on the deal regarding issues such as the development of mechanisms for financial and banking cooperation and industry-related issues.

The spokesman pointed out that his country is waiting for other proposals, after Europe has reached an internal agreement, before announcing its final position on the European package.

Meanwhile, the spokesman downplayed local reports stating that a planned meeting between the foreign ministers of Iran and the European countries on the nuclear deal had been canceled, pointing that it is still not clear "when and where" the negotiations will be held.

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