Zarif: Europeans are not in a position to criticize Iran

EDITORS' NOTE: Reuters and other foreign media are subject to Iranian restrictions on leaving the office to report, film or take pictures in Tehran. Iran's national flags are seen on a square in Tehran February 10, 2012, a day before the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution. REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl (IRAN - Tags: ANNIVERSARY POLITICS) - RTR2XM4A

UNITED STATES (VOP TODAY NEWS) — Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Sunday that the European Union is “not in a position to criticize Iran” on the eve of his German counterpart Haikou Mas’s visit to Tehran.

“The Europeans are certainly not in a position to criticize Iran, even in issues that have nothing to do with the Iranian nuclear agreement signed in Vienna in 2015,” Zarif told a group of Iranian journalists.

He added that the policies of Europe and the West “had no other result in our region only to cause damage.”

“Some countries, such as Germany, have stopped selling arms to Saudi Arabia to bomb the population in Yemen, but some other countries have not,” Zarif said, hinting to France and Britain, which he did not name.

“In general, the West has allowed authoritarian regimes in our region to commit crimes,” he said.

German Foreign Minister Haikou Mas is expected to arrive in Tehran on Monday.

Germany, along with China, France, Britain and Russia, is one of the countries that are still partners to Iran under the Vienna Convention since the United States decided in May 2018 to withdraw unilaterally and re-impose a set of economic sanctions on Tehran.

Under the terms of the agreement, the Islamic Republic pledged not to seek the atomic bomb, and agreed to restrict its nuclear program in return for lifting some of the international economic sanctions imposed on it.

Last May, a year after the US withdrawal, Tehran threatened to gradually break out of the Vienna Convention unless its partners, especially the Europeans, helped it bypass US sanctions.

Zarif said Sunday that “the duty of the Europeans” is to contribute to “normalize the status of Iran’s economic relations.”

Tehran on Friday opposed France’s proposal to restart the nuclear talks, warning that seeking to expand the existing deal could lead to its collapse.


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