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Vow to Keep Pushing West to Uphold JCPOA
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Vow to Keep Pushing West to Uphold JCPOA

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Iran will sustain diplomatic pressure on the western states that were party to the nuclear deal to ensure they uphold their end of the bargain.

Addressing lawmakers recently elected to parliament at a conference in Tehran on Saturday, Zarif said all Iranian officials, regardless of their political affiliations, should help "hold the western states accountable for their commitments and pressure them to honor them", IRNA reported.

The accord was clinched with P5+1 (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany) last July and went into force six months later to scale down Tehran's nuclear program in return for relief from international sanctions.

The government of moderate President Hassan Rouhani, who championed the pact, hoped that the opening of the domestic market to overseas investment in the wake of sanctions removal will help revive the economy and raise Iranians' living standards.

But the remaining US sanctions are interfering with transactions between Iranian and foreign companies by denying access to the US financial system to process such dealings.

"It is the responsibility of us, the government, the central bank and all others to help use our maximum leverage in the international arena to ensure the other side will implement its commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action," Zarif said, using the formal title of the pact.

The US restrictions, which deter foreign investors and firms, have been seized upon by domestic conservative opponents who remain deeply skeptical of the West's intentions.

Zarif called for greater solidarity among officials and said that despite differences of opinion, all should contribute to a joint effort to promote Iran as the safest and best country offering the most lucrative investment opportunities.

"Our other priority is to help restore security to the region and promote a coordinated campaign against extremism and terrorism that have affected the whole world," he said.

***Majlis-Gov't Coop.

Rouhani's first deputy, Es'haq Jahangiri, also addressed the conference.

Highlighting the importance of close cooperation between the government and the incoming parliament, Jahangiri said dealing with the current conditions in the region demands vigilance and prudence.

"Now that we are in the post-sanctions era, the next parliament is as important, if not more so, than the departing one. Cooperation between the government and the Majlis is essential to effectively address domestic, regional and international issues," he added.

The new parliament is due to take over late this month.

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