Deputy Foreign Minister: “Europeans are walking on the razor’s edge because if they incline towards Trump”
Using Donald Trump’s firing of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Iran has renewed its call to European states to maintain the July 2015 nuclear deal.
Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi (pictured) issued the latest statement on Wednesday, a day after Trump suddenly dismissed Tillerson with a tweet.
Speaking to MPs, Araqchi said that if the Europeans cannot prevent US withdrawal from the agreement, Iran will also withdraw: “Europeans are walking on the razor’s edge because if they incline towards [US President Donald] Trump, they will lose Iran.”
The minister pointed to Trump’s dismissal of Tillerson, who maintained that the US should remain in the deal, as a sign that Washington will now depart: “Americans are determined to leave the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action], and changes at the country’s State Department were made in line with this goal, or at least it was one of the reasons.”
Since implementation of the JCPOA in January 2016, the Rouhani Government has tried to distance European countries, including JCPOA signatories Britain, Germany, and France, from ongoing and new US sanctions that have restricted Iranian recovery.
The effort has been intensified since the Trump Administration entered office in January 2017, with Donald Trump threatening to abandon the “worst deal ever” for the US.
While American agencies have been able to prevent withdrawal, the US sanctions have hindered completion of key trade and investment deals between Iran and foreign firms, especially European companies. Only a few of 118 passenger planes from Airbus, agreed in January 2016, have been delivered. Oil and gas arrangements, including a $4.7 billion contract with France’s Total, have been held up.
Tehran Mayor Resigns After Hardliners Complain about Young Girls Dancing on Stage
Tehran’s reformist mayor, Mohammad Ali Najafi, has suddenly resigned after hardliners whipped up a controversy over young girls dancing on stage.
Last week Najafi attended a celebration where six girls danced in traditional costumes and threw rose petals in honor of a female saint.
Hardliners invoked a ban on dancing in public by women, including any girl over the age of 9. Fars, the outlet of the Revolutionary Guards, castigated “a celebration of indecency”. The Friday Prayer leader of Mashhad, Ayatollah Ahmad Alamolhoda, said the dance performance was planned enemies to disgrace the saint, Fatemeh Zahra, and rejected Najafi’s explanation that the girls were younger than 9:
One cannot argue that these were children. They were young girls who incited arousal. They made the most atrocious movements. This cannot be justified.
The Tehran Prosecutor’s office summoned Najafi, and the City Council held an emergency meeting before the mayor’s resignation on Wednesday.