Europe Demand for More Talks Does Not Help Iran Nuclear Deal, Cleric Says



[aesop_image img=”” panorama=”off” align=”center” lightbox=”on” caption=”FILE PHOTO: Head of the Guardian Council Ahmad Jannati speaks during Tehran’s Friday prayers June 18, 2010. REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl ” captionposition=”left” revealfx=”off” overlay_revealfx=”off”]

Sept 4 (Reuters) – Europe is not helping preserve the agreement on Iran’s nuclear programme by asking for additional negotiations on issues like missiles, Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, a powerful anti-Western cleric, said Tuesday, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency.

Jannati is the head of the Assembly of Experts, an influential body that can select and dismiss the supreme leader, the highest authority in Iran.

Last week, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Tehran should be ready to negotiate on its future nuclear plans, its ballistic missile arsenal and its role in wars in Syria and Yemen. Iran’s foreign ministry rejected the idea.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani shakes hands with French Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, in Tehran, Iran, March 5, 2018. via REUTERS

President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers in May and is re-imposing sanctions on Tehran. The other parties to the accord – China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany- are trying to find ways to save the agreement.

“Europe has announced that they won’t leave the deal,” Jannati said, according to IRNA. “In practice, by bringing up a discussion of missiles and other issues they are not following an appropriate path.”

Last month, the European Union decided to provide 18 million euros ($21 million) in aid to Iran to offset the impact of U.S. sanctions, part of efforts to salvage the deal.

(Reporting By Babak Dehghanpisheh)