Iranian President Hassan Rouhani confirmed the country has received a package prepared by Europe to salvage the Iran nuclear deal, but described it as a disappointing proposal which only contained a series of general commitments.
Rouhani on Thursday said the package lacks a clear proposal on how to continue cooperation.
“Unfortunately, there was no clear method or operational solution for the continuation of cooperation, and the package only contained a series of general commitments like in the EU’s previous statements,” said Rouhani in a phone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
He said Tehran expected the European states to offer a clear and straightforward package.
The president told Merkel that Iran will continue to work with Europe only if the country is hopeful about the future.
“If the trend of work at the ministerial meeting of European countries in Vienna [on Friday] is promising enough to encourage Iran to continue its cooperation and joint work, we will continue to cooperate with Europe,” said President Rouhani.
In the phone talk, President Rouhani touched upon Washington’s unilateral withdrawal from the JCPOA and the limited time given to Europe to announce its position on the Iran nuclear deal clearly and straightforwardly.
“After the United States’ pullout from the JCPOA, problems emerged in economic, banking relations and oil domains, which made companies investing in Iran doubtful about whether or not to continue their operations in the country,” he said, urging Europe to settle these issues.
Merkel, in turn, underlined that the package focuses on general and fundamental issues, and that negotiations should continue on the details.
She said what matters is that the European countries are determined to stay in the JCPOA and believe the talks should come to fruition in a calm atmosphere.
Also in a phone conversation with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, the Iranian president called on the five countries which are parties to the talks to make up for Washington’s pull-out from the JCPOA.
He described as positive France’s efforts over the past months to help preserve the JCPOA, but at the same time noted that Iran will continue its cooperation regarding the JCPOA only if its demands are met.
“Europe’s proposed package regarding the continuation of the trend of cooperation over the JCPOA does not meet all of our demands, and we hope the trend of talks between the ministers of the five countries tomorrow in Vienna will be able to fulfill Iran’s demands in order to continue cooperation over the JCPOA,” he said.
He further referred to the problems that Washington’s unilateral withdrawal from the JCPOA has created for certain European companies involved in Iranian projects.
“We expect Europe to offer a clear operational program with a specific timeframe in order to be able to compensate for the US pullout form the Iran nuclear deal,” he said.
The French president, in turn, said his country is set to remain committed to its obligations under the JCPA, and underlined the necessity of making attempts to continue cooperation and talks between the two sides.
Macron said Europe will keep making efforts to preserve the JCPOA.
“The meeting of foreign ministers of the five countries in Vienna can strike a balance between political and economic issues in order to continue the trend of cooperation,” he added.
Rouhani’s comments came as it was earlier reported the EU package would be offered to Iran during the Friday talks in Vienna.
A source had even said the package was not supposed to be opened before Iran’s top negotiator Mohammad Javad Zarif returns to Tehran. But it seems the EU has offered the package to Rouhani during his stay in Vienna.