According to Press TV, Zarif made the remarks while speaking to reporters on Saturday on the sidelines of a conference on Iran’s political development after US unilateral move to pull out of a 2015 historic nuclear agreement.
“The European Union was supposed to carry out some measures, including the preservation of the sale of Iranian oil and the preservation of banking channels, which we are still waiting [for Europe] to do,” Zarif said.
The United States has ramped up pressure on Iran after US President Donald Trump withdrew Washington in May from the landmark Iran nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), reached between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries in 2015, and decided to re-impose unilateral sanctions against Tehran.
Under the deal, Iran undertook to put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions.
In defiance of warnings from the European Union, the JCPOA signatories and many international players, Trump signed an executive order on August 6 re-imposing a first round of sanctions on Iran, which were lifted under the nuclear deal, to levy “maximum economic pressure” on the Islamic Republic.
The sanctions will cover Iran’s purchases of the dollar, its trade in gold and precious metals, and its automotive sector. A second batch of bans will be re-imposed in November with the aim of curtailing Iran’s oil exports and shipping sectors.
On Monday, the Iranian foreign minister said European countries must be ready to bear the expenses if they want to safeguard their long-term interests in the face of the United States’ law-breaking behavior after quitting the JCPOA.
He added, “The Europeans have been very good in declaring their positions [on the JCPOA], but to pay that price, they need to make a decision and they have only a limited time for that decision and cannot wait forever.”
His remarks came a day after Iran’s First Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri said Tehran is looking for solutions to continue selling its crude oil after the United States re-imposes its sanctions on the country’s energy sector in early November.
Speaking in an interview with IRNA, Jahangiri noted that European countries have told Iran’s Foreign Ministry that they will be taking measures before US sanctions come into effect against the country’s oil and banking sectors to make up for any possible losses that Tehran may suffer.