Need to See Nuclear Deal Payoff

Need to See Nuclear Deal PayoffNeed to See Nuclear Deal Payoff

If the nuclear deal between Tehran and major powers is to be a lasting agreement, Iranians should enjoy the economic benefits of sanctions relief, the foreign minister said.

Mohammad Javad Zarif made the statement in a recent interview with German weekly Der Spiegel and three other European media outlets in Tehran, Fars News Agency reported on Monday.

"We did not participate in 30 months of intense negotiations to have a blank document. It is clear that Iranian people want to see the results," he said. "If the agreement is to last long, we have to show them it is paying off."

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as the nuclear accord is formally called, was clinched in July 2015 to remove Iran sanctions and ease its access to the global financial system in exchange for temporary restrictions on Tehran's nuclear program.

However, almost a year after the conclusion of the deal and three months after its implementation on January 16, Iranian officials are complaining that the other side of the pact, especially the US, is not honoring its commitments and the deal has not resulted in tangible benefits for Tehran due to banking issues.

Major European banks such as French bank BNP Paribas or Germany's Commerzbank AG, once hit by huge US fines for sanctions busting, are still reluctant to resume business with Iran, fearing the many other restrictions imposed by Washington over human rights and terrorism allegations that remain in force.

  No Ifs and Buts

"We ask the United States only one thing, not to interfere [with our economic cooperation with others] and stick to the action plan," Zarif said.

"The US should clearly state that doing business with Iran is all right, without ifs and buts. This is simple English, not legalese."

The top diplomat added that Tehran has fulfilled its obligations to combat money laundering and financing of terrorism, suggesting there are no logical reasons for not allowing the country to take its place in the global financial system back.

Iran has convinced the European Union to put pressure on Washington to assure international bankers that they will not be punished for working with Tehran. During a visit to Tehran by a high-powered EU delegation headed by EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, late last week, Zarif said it was in Europe's interest to make sure European banks feel confident to do business in Iran.

"Iran and the EU will put pressure on the United States to facilitate the cooperation of non-American banks with Iran," Zarif said at a news conference with Mogherini on Saturday.