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Europe’s Clout in Sustaining Nuclear Deal Questioned

Ali LarijaniAli Larijani

Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani cast doubt on the ability of European powers to do enough to prevent the collapse of the Iran nuclear deal in the wake of a US decision to abandon the agreement and reinstate the sanctions regime.

"We are in talks with the Europeans on the nuclear agreement, but the long-term outlook looks grim. It is not clear if the talks would succeed or the parties can reach a solution," Larijani said on Saturday, Tasnim News Agency reported.

The European countries, namely Britain, France and Germany, have been struggling to convince Iran to uphold its side of the deal despite the US withdrawal in May.

Officials in Tehran have made clear they see no point in remaining in the 2015 agreement, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, if it stops short of delivering the promised economic gains.

Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said on Wednesday the government should concentrate on domestic capabilities rather than European support for a plan of action, adding that Tehran would abandon the agreement if it fails to serve its national interests.

"There is no problem with continuing talks with Europe. But you should give up hope on them over issues such as the JCPOA or the economy. The JCPOA is a means not an end in itself. It is apparent that if we come to the conclusion that the deal cannot serve our national interests, we will abandon it," he said in a meeting with President Hassan Rouhani and his aides.

Larijani said Iran reserves the right to abandon the JCPOA but it continues talks with the Europeans to give them the ground to ensure the deal is economically viable for Iran.

"We could have abandoned the nuclear pact, but European leaders urged us to stay. Iran agreed to provisionally continue the deal's implementation to see if the Europeans have the political will and ability to resolve the issue. Ours was a reasonable decision," he said.

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