European countries are powerless to salvage the nuclear deal with Iran after the United States’ decision to pull out, the deputy head of the elite Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) said on Thursday. “Europe cannot act independently over the nuclear deal,” the semi-official Fars news agency quoted Brigadier General Hossein Salami as saying. Britain, France and Germany earlier said they remained committed to the deal. “Iran’s enemies are not seeking military confrontation. They want to pressure our country by economic isolation… Resistance is the only way to confront these enemies, not diplomacy,” Salami added.
However the remaining signatories to the Iran deal are working to find ways to preserve it, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said. It’s important to keep the international agreement in place despite the US withdrawal from the deal, according to Russia’s top diplomat. He met with his German counterpart Heiko Maas in Moscow on Thursday. Maas said that Berlin and Moscow agree that the agreement on Tehran’s nuclear program has to be upheld. The German minister added that it was crucial that Iran sticks to its obligations under the agreement with world powers, which was signed in 2015.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will commence talks with allies in Europe, the Middle East and Asia in an effort to persuade them to press Iran to curb its nuclear and missile programs, according to a US official. Pompeo is ready to discuss the issues immediately following his return from North Korea on Thursday. Discussions with Britain, France and Germany, as well as Japan, Iraq and Israel on the next steps had already taken place since US President Donald Trump pulled out of the nuclear pact with Iran on Tuesday, Reuters quoted a senior State Department official as saying. “There will be an effort to go out globally and talk to our partners around the world who share our interests. That is the first stage,” the official said of plans for talks by Pompeo and his chief Iran negotiator, Brian Hook. The talks will focus on how to raise pressure on Iran “in a way that is constructive and conducive to bringing them to the negotiating table.”
China urged all parties to the accord to stick to its terms and engage in dialog to resolve the crisis, Xinhua reported on Wednesday, citing China’s special envoy on Middle East Gong Xiaosheng. Gong was speaking after a meeting with Iranian officials on Tuesday. He said Beijing looks forward to bolstering cooperation between all signatories of the deal. Earlier, the Chinese Foreign Ministry reiterated China’s commitment to the deal, noting that the International Atomic Energy Agency is the only body that can decide on Iran’s compliance within the landmark agreement.