Iran not happy with Europe on INSTEX as FM Maas visits
Story Code : 798843
"What the Europeans need to do and what they have done so far have failed to win our satisfaction," Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi told reporters on Monday.
His remarks came as Germany's Foreign Minister Heiko Maas began his talks in Tehran as part of European efforts to salvage Iran's nuclear pact, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Mousavi said the European signatories to the deal -- the UK, France and Germany -- wasted a lot of time before taking action in response to US President Donald Trump's pullout from the landmark agreement last May.
"The first step which the Europeans took following the US withdrawal was rather late. We said back then that the step, although having created a tiny bit of hope, was overdue," he said.
Last month, Iran scaled back some commitments under the deal and warned that in 60 days it would resume enriching uranium to a higher degree than that permitted under the accord if the Europeans failed to shield it against the US sanctions.
Mousavi said Tehran saw Europe's behavior after unveiling INSTEX as a testament to its "inability" to protect Iran's interests in the face of US pressure.
"There is no will to resist the illegal demands that violate international norms in their entirety," he said.
Mousavi made it clear that Iran had chosen not to put much trust in the payment mechanism.
"We haven't put much hope in INSTEX," he said. "If INSTEX had been going to help us, it would have done so already."
The European trio claimed upon unveiling the long-awaited special trade vehicle in January that they would try to keep the nuclear deal alive.
Tehran, however, has made it clear ever since that it is already considering several trade agreements with its neighbors and close allies as alternatives to the European solution.
Maas: INSTEX to be operational soon
Maas said on Monday all the formal requirements for the European payment system for barter-based trade with Iran were already in place and should be operational soon.
"This is an instrument of a new kind, so it's not straightforward to operationalize it," he told reporters in Tehran.
"But all the formal requirements are in place now, and so I'm assuming we'll be ready to use it in the foreseeable future."
Maas has already held talks with his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif. He is due to meet President Hassan Rouhani later in the day.
The European signatories to the deal have defended the agreement, but they have recently announced that they share Washington's concerns over Iran’s ballistic missile development and regional role.
Mousavi stressed that no topic other than the JCPOA was on the agenda of discussions with the German foreign minister.
"The EU is not in a position to question Iran's issues beyond the nuclear deal," Mousavi said.