Iran official says Europe has 60 days to give nuclear 'guarantees'

Bruno Le Maire France’s economy minister slammed Trump for withdrawing the U.S. from the deal | Brendan Smialowski  AFP via Getty Images

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has repeatedly confirmed that Tehran has been meeting its nuclear commitments fully.

President Donald Trump's decision to exit the Iran nuclear deal has already pushed Brent prices above $77 per barrel.

Trump described the deal as "horrible" and "one-sided" as he announced USA withdrawal on Tuesday, which could lead to penalties for European businesses that have begun trading with Iran since it was signed in 2013.

The sanctions will target critical sectors of Iran's economy, including petrochemicals, energy and finance.

Le Maire proposed creating a European body that would have the same kind of powers that the U.S. Justice Department has to punish foreign companies for their trade practices.

A number of European companies, including Airbus, Siemens and Total, had established operations in Iran since the signing of the deal.

Under the pact formally called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, Tehran agreed to curb its nuclear activities in exchange for the lifting of crippling economic sanctions.

European governments tried for months to persuade Trump to stick with the deal but failed, and now fear it will raise the risk of conflict in the region.

Iranian media reported that Foreign Minister Javad Zarif will visit the Chinese and Russian capitals on Saturday and Monday, respectively, before arriving in Brussels.

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"China is highly concerned with the direction of the Iranian nuclear issue and is willing to maintain communication with all relevant parties, including Iran", said Geng Shuang, spokesman for China's Foreign Ministry.

Earlier in the week, France, Germany and the United Kingdom expressed "regret and concern" over the US' withdrawal.

After seeing the United States flag and a symbolic copy of the JCPOA being set ablaze, Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani dismissed Trump's comments as cheap.

Pompeo also said it was "ludicrous" for anyone to blame the heightened tensions between Iran and Israel on Trump's announcement.

Before leaving Iran, Zarif published a government statement via Twitter criticising Trump's "extremist administration" for abandoning "an accord recognised as a victory of diplomacy by the worldwide community".

Some of them have begun whispering that Iran should scrap the JCPOA, arguing that Europe is not reliable.

He explained that the USA walked out of the agreement because Iran had never made a strategic decision to give up nuclear weapons, and it was testing the limits of the deal's provisions and exceeding them in some cases. The global reach of the USA financial system and the US presence of many European companies also raise questions about its effectiveness. In a separate interview on CNN's "State of the Union", he said Iran's economic condition is "really quite shaky", so the impact of sanctions "could be dramatic".

"That's not the policy of the administration", he said.

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