On Saturday, the European Union’s highest-ranking energy official announced that Europe has decided to stick with the Iran nuclear deal, despite America’s withdrawal earlier this month.
“We have sent a message to our Iranian friends that as long as they are sticking to the (nuclear) agreement the Europeans will … fulfill their commitment. And they said the same thing on the other side,” Miguel Arias Canete, the European commissioner for energy and climate, said at a news conference following a meeting with nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi, Reuters reported.
Canete suggested that the EU, the largest purchaser of Iranian oil, remains hopeful that it will be able to increase trade with the Islamic regime.
“We will try to intensify our flows of trade that have been very positive for the Iranian economy,” he said, according to The Hill.
Earlier this month, President Donald Trump announced the U.S. would withdraw from the controversial nuclear deal, known officially as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which was implemented during the Obama administration.
As reported by The Western Journal, under the deal, Iran agreed to place limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the U.S. removing all nuclear-related sanctions.
The agreement allowed Iran to receive sanctions from other world powers — France, Germany, Britain, Russia and China — if it agreed not to develop nuclear weapons.
Trump had often labeled the deal as one-sided and gave the European signatories until May 12 to alter or fix the numerous “terrible flaws,” or else the U.S. would refuse to extend its sanctions relief to Iran.
Despite the U.S.’s withdrawal, Salehi said Tehran remained hopeful that the deal would be rescued by the EU.
“We hope their efforts materialize,” Salehi told reporters. “America’s actions … show that it is not a trustworthy country in international dealings.”
Salehi added that Iran had a number of other options to consider if the EU were to fail to save the deal, “including resuming its 20 percent uranium enrichment,” according to Reuters.
Though the European nations have been attempting to quickly salvage the deal, many have admitted that meeting Iranian demands will be easier said than done without help from the U.S.
However, Trump has maintained that the U.S. will have no part in the deal, which some experts have claimed Iran has broken time and time again.
Alireza Jafarzadeh, the deputy director of the National Council Resistance of Iran’s Washington office, presented evidence last year that Iran had secretly been developing nukes at an off-limits site.
Evidence Jafarzadeh cited detailed the alleged lengths to which Iran itself had broken the deal as, over the years, it has tested “long-range ballistic missiles and laser-guided surface-to-surface missiles,” he said.
“Our information shows that their activities have been continuing in full gear despite the JCPOA,” Jafarzadeh said. “We are talking about an extensive covert operation by the Iranian regime.”
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