Iran has given European parties to the nuclear deal until Nov. 4 -- the start of U.S. sanctions against its vital oil industry -- to come up with ways to offset the impact, suggesting it may otherwise pull out.
Iran has “clearly announced” to European nations that if its “main interests” in the nuclear agreement are not served, “staying in the deal will not benefit us anymore,” Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi said on state television late Tuesday, according to the Tasnim news agency. “They have a deadline of Nov. 4 and from then on, any action by them would be useless.”
The U.S. sanctions on Iran’s oil industry are targeting the lifeline of its economy. Last month, it banned Iran from buying dollars, and trading gold and other precious metals, and imposed sanctions on the automotive sector.
The European Union has pledged to defend the agreement, protect European companies hurt by the U.S. decision and offer alternative financing for Iranian investments. However, finding practical ways around U.S. sanctions has proved tricky, making it increasingly difficult for European partners to persuade Tehran to stay in the deal.
“As long as we can sell our oil, it will be in our interest to stay in the JCPOA,” Araghchi said, referring to the acronym for the 2015 accord, which the U.S. quit in May.