Rouhani calls European Union trio package to save nuclear deal 'disappointing'

GETTYPresident Hassan Rouhani warned Iran could soon halt exports of oil to neighbouring countries

"After the withdrawal of the United States, which we can't understand, we face a hard situation", he added, but he stressed that "we want to make clear to Iran that it will still gain economic benefits through this agreement".

Rouhani had Thursday told French President Emmanuel Macron by phone that the Europe-led offer of economic measures did "not meet all our demands", Iran's state news agency IRNA reported. Rouhani called for a transparent operational program with a specific timetable to compensate for the United States' withdrawal from the agreement.

Rouhani made the remarks in a telephone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel late on Thursday. The proposed package "only included some general promises like previous European Union statements", Rouhani said.

In the joint statement, Iran's Mohammad Javad Zarif and other top diplomats reconfirmed their commitment to the deal and its "economic dividends" for Iran, which has suffered worsening financial turbulence since Trump abandoned the accord.

"What is important is that we know and we are certain that we want to stay in the deal and we believe that dialogue should continue in peace", she was quoted as saying.

Speaking at a joint press conference with his Swiss counterpart, Alain Berset, in Bern on Tuesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani lashed out at American officials for threatening to stop Iran's oil exports, saying they would never be able to carry out such a threat.

The signatories to the landmark accord met for the first time since Donald Trump, the United States president, withdrew in May to discuss how they could salvage the deal in the face of a reimposition of United States sanctions.

An Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander said on Wednesday Iran would block any exports of crude for the Gulf in retaliation for hostile USA action. Washington has since told countries they must stop buying Iranian oil from November 4 or face financial measures.

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The US unilaterally withdrew from the Iranian nuclear deal in May.

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.

Beyond the European Investment Bank plan, other elements of the European economic package that Rohani criticized as insufficient include a special measure to shield EU companies from the USA sanctions and a proposal for EU governments to make direct money transfers to Iran's central bank to avoid US penalties.

He said the European powers but also Russian Federation and China were working on coming up with a financial mechanism to mitigate planned tough USA sanctions.

Lavrov urged new ways of trading with Iran if Washington restores sanctions against Tehran.

The rial currency has fallen, prices have risen and the country has been hit by street protests and strikes.

Even though Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that the USA actions "de-facto disrupted the agreement", thus giving Iran a right to withdraw from it as well, the Islamic Republic would not exercise this right, according to Lavrov.

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