World powers back Iran oil exports despite USA sanctions threat

IRAN PRESIDENT Hassan Rouhani and Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz attend a news conference at the

However, Rouhani told French President Emmanuel Macron by telephone on Thursday that the package of economic measures failed to offset sufficiently the effects of the USA pullout and its re-imposition of nuclear-related sanctions.

Tehran's top diplomat Mohammad Javad Zarif praised them for their "will to resist" United States pressure, two months after President Donald Trump walked away from the landmark accord.

"This is the first time they have shown this level of commitment, but we will have to see in the future what they really want to do and what they can do", Zarif said.

Iran's economy is already suffering from the sanctions that Washington re-imposed after walking away from the nuclear agreement, and the USA has threatened to punish companies from other nations that continue doing business with Iran.

Rohani told French President Emmanuel Macron in a phone call that the package "does not meet all our demands", the IRNA state news agency reported late on July 5.

The diplomats said they remained committed to the 2015 accord and to building up economic relations with Iran, including "the continuation of Iran's export of oil and gas" and other energy products.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says all the remaining signatories to a 2015 landmark nuclear agreement have political will to stand up to the United States' move to withdraw from the deal.

"If the process of the European foreign ministers' meeting in Vienna, which is aimed at encouraging Iran to cooperate, is promising, we will continue our cooperation", he said.

A top USA official says on Jul 2 that Washington is determined to force Iran to change behaviour by cutting its oil exports to zero, confident the world has enough spare oil capacity to cope.

If Iran can not sell its oil due to US pressure, then no other regional country will be allowed to do so either, Jafari was quoted as saying by Tasnim news agency.

In a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in June, President Rouhani said Russia plays a key role in maintaining the nuclear deal after USA withdrawal.

US President Donald Trump signs a document reinstating sanctions against Iran after announcing the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, in the Diplomatic Reception Room at the White House in Washington, DC, on May 8, 2018. Washington has since told countries they must stop buying the OPEC producer's oil from November 4 or face financial consequences.

"We have agreed ... that the experts of the Joint Commission of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) would consider ways that would allow [us] to stick to our commitments taken under the [agreement] independently from the US, " Lavrov told journalists following a ministerial meeting of the parties to the Iran deal.

Now, the threat of US sanctions has increasingly darkened the outlook for Iran's economy, helping to stoke a plunge in the Iranian rial this year that has driven up prices and provoked street protests and strikes.

"We advise businesses that want to keep investing (in Iran), we want to keep payment systems open, and we want to build security through widening the mandate of the European Investment Bank", he said.

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