The US ‘is not a trustworthy country in international dealings,’ says Iran’s nuclear chief.
The head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization said Saturday that the EU promised his country’s government it would rescue the nuclear deal that U.S. President Donald Trump decided to quit.
“We hope [the EU’s] efforts materialize … America’s actions … show that it is not a trustworthy country in international dealings,” Ali Akbar Salehi told a news conference in Tehran, according to Reuters.
Salehi was speaking after a meeting with the European commissioner for energy and climate, Miguel Arias Cañete, who said he’d come to tell the Iranians that “as long as they are sticking to the agreement the Europeans [would] … fulfill their commitment.”
Under its 2015 agreement with major powers, Iran agreed to curb significantly its nuclear program, in exchange for the lifting of western economic sanctions.
Trump’s decision to re-impose sanctions on the country has widened the divide between the U.S. and the EU, whose governments have stated their intention to keep trade open with Tehran.
Canete said that the EU would even try to “intensify flows of trade that have been very positive for the Iranian economy.”
The EU announced on Friday a package of measures designed to counter U.S. sanctions on Iran, including the revival of a 25-year-old “blocking statute” that would help European companies ignore U.S. sanctions and protect them from retribution by American authorities.
“We have the duty … to do what we can to protect our European businesses, especially SMEs,” European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said at the time.