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Assembly of Experts Convenes

“Europe has announced that they won’t abandon the deal. In practice, by bringing up the topic of missiles and other issues, they are not following the proper path”
A general view of the Assembly of Experts meeting in Tehran on TuesdayA general view of the Assembly of Experts meeting in Tehran on Tuesday

Europe is not helping preserve the Iran nuclear agreement program by seeking and asking for additional talks on issues like missiles, a senior cleric said.

“Europe has announced that they won’t abandon the deal. In practice, by bringing up the topic of missiles and other issues, they are not following the proper  path.” Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati told a meeting of the Assembly of Experts on Tuesday, IRNA reported.

Jannati is head of the influential assembly, which is tasked with overseeing the performance of the leader of the Islamic Revolution.

Last week, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Tehran should be ready to negotiate on its future nuclear plans, its ballistic missile arsenal and its role in wars in Syria and Yemen. The Foreign Ministry rejected the idea.

President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the 2015 nuclear deal signed by Iran and world powers in May and is reimposed sanctions on Tehran.

“We must learn from the experience of the JCPOA and keep in mind that the US is unreliable,” the senior cleric  said, referring to the accord by its official title, the Joint comprehensive Plan of Action.

The other parties to the accord - China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany- are trying to find ways to save the landmark agreement.

Last month, the European Union said it will provide 18 million euros ($21 million) in aid to Iran to offset the impact of US sanctions, part of efforts to salvage the deal. Separately, President Hassan Rouhani said the US is trying to pressure Iran through sanctions.

“The enemy says ‘I want an Iran that’s in my control, that’s in my fist,’” Rouhani said in a speech broadcast on state TV. “This is impossible...They want to pull us back 40 years, to surrender...”

The president missed the assembly session as he was in Assalouyeh in southern Iran to inaugurate new petrochemical projects.

Among the top officials at the meeting of Experts were judiciary chief Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani and his brother, Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani.

  EU Lacking in Performance  

In related news, a lawmaker voiced disappointment at the European countries’ measures to save the 2015 nuclear deal after the US withdrawal.

“I believe that the Europeans are serious about keeping the nuclear deal but their measures are not sufficient,” Chairman of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Heshmatollah Falahatpishe said on Tuesday.

He said that the measures the EU says it is pushing to convince Tehran to remain in the deal despite the US sanctions have not been seen so far.  He was referring to Europe’s so-called ‘blocking statute’ and incentives to curb the negative impact of the US restrictions on Iran.

“The Europeans so far have not performed well in this regard,” Falahatpisheh said.

 

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