Iran will officially protest the withdrawal of the United States from the 2015 nuclear deal at next week's meeting in Vienna among the remaining parties, a senior Iranian diplomat said Tuesday.
The Joint Commission meeting on May 25 will see the deputy foreign ministers of Iran, Russia, China, Germany, Britain and France "address the Iran's concerns regarding U.S. withdrawal from the JCPOA and necessary guarantees for salvaging the deal," the diplomat said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
JCPOA is an acronym for Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the agreement under which Iran agreed to cap uranium enrichment at below the level needed to make nuclear weapons, and to allow intrusive international inspections to ensure compliance, in return for the lifting of crippling financial sanctions.
(A JCPOA joint commission meeting in Vienna in July 2017)
The upcoming meeting of the commission, which reviews concerns of nonperformance and discusses implementation matters under the agreement, "will be held based on Iran's request to find a solution to resume the nuclear deal without the participation of the United States," the diplomat said.
He spoke as Iran and European Union wrapped up a one-day meeting in Brussels on Tuesday, one week after U.S. President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the deal, calling it "defective at its core."
Trump also threatened "the highest level of economic sanction" against the Iranian regime, calling it "the leading state sponsor of terror" in the world.
"We had a useful meeting. A right move has been started and we need to wait and see whether it would reach a conclusion or not," Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif told reporters after the meeting.
"We don't have a lot of time" and must see whether the political will of the Europeans can translate to a significant action or not, Zarif said.
Referring to the U.S. fresh sanctions against officials of Iran's central bank, Zarif said, "It's an illegal action, same as other actions of the United States."
(Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif)
Federica Mogherini, EU high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, voiced the European Union's intention to try and salvage the Iran deal and deepen financial relations with Iran.
She said that maintaining and deepening economic relations with Iran, the continued sale of Iranian petroleum products, effective banking transactions with Iran, and continued sea, land, air and rail transportation links with the country are among issues to be discussed in next few weeks to address Tehran's concerns.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Tuesday his country will only remain in the nuclear deal "only if it can fully enjoy its benefits."
His moderate government is under pressure from hardliners to show toughness in reacting to the U.S. withdrawal from the deal. They blame him for being too soft in the face of U.S pressure.
Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the last word on country's crucial issues, has urged Iranian negotiators to receive "practical guarantees" from the Europeans, if the deal is to be saved.