Hassan Rouhani made the remarks in a telephone conversation with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron on Thursday.
“The Islamic Republic is determined to keep open all the paths leading to the JCPOA preservation,” referring to the agreement by the abbreviation of its official title, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
Rouhani also underlined the importance of Paris endeavors in ensuring the deal’s existence.
Also on Thursday, Macron talked to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin over the phone. The heads of state underlined the pivotal role of the nuclear deal in ensuring regional security, attached “great importance” to preservation of the accord, and pledged to increase their efforts to guarantee its survival.
The agreement was signed in Vienna in July 2015 between the Islamic Republic and the P5+1 group of states comprising the United States, the UK, France, Russia, China, plus Germany. The JCPOA lifted nuclear-related sanctions against Iran in return for the country’s voluntarily changing some aspects of its nuclear energy program.
The US unilaterally left the JCPOA last year in defiance of international criticism and although the deal has been ratified as a United Nations Security Council resolution. Washington also returned its anti-Iran sanctions in a move condemned by the Islamic Republic as “economic terrorism.”
Tehran has said its continued commitment to the nuclear agreement is conditioned upon the remaining signatories’ guaranteeing its economic interests now that the US has gone back on its obligations.
Rouhani told Macron that Iran and the European signatories to the JCPOA need to invest in efforts aimed at implementation of “balanced steps” that could safeguard the deal because “there are some in the United States, who would not want the efforts seeking to save the JCPOA to succeed.”
He said that despite existing setbacks and sabotage activities, Tehran believed that the remaining signatories had to seize the time and task their experts with finding creative and appropriate approaches that save the agreement.
“Europe must expedite its attempts to meet Iran’s legitimate [economic] interests [under the deal] and bring about truce in the US economic warfare,” the Iranian president stated.
In January, Britain, France, and Germany announced the establishment of a non-dollar trade system, officially called the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX), to protect their business with Iran against the American bans.
Rouhani said bilateral transaction using the INSTEX, including those transferring Iran’s oil revenues, are be among the efforts that save the JCPOA.
He called potential removal of the American sanctions another approach that would assist the deal’s survival and help restoration of the state of affairs to how it used to be prior to the US illegal moves.