Publishe Date: 9:01 PM - 12/17/2013 | Print

Rafsanjani: Europeans Slam US for Violating Geneva Deal

Politics - Chairman of Iran’s Expediency Council (EC) Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani lashed out at Washington for imposing fresh sanctions against Iran, and said even Europeans are critical of the US for breaching the recent Geneva deal with Tehran.

“During the two days of my meetings with European delegations, they criticized the US for its breach of the Geneva agreement and said that the US obeys radical Zionist lobbies and individuals who have exerted pressure on that country,” Hashemi Rafsanjani said on Tuesday.

Rafsanjani said when the Americans violated the Geneva deal, they came under such harsh and strong criticism that they felt regret for what they had done.

“Now the Americans want to justify this violation and they say these sanctions belong to the past, but we do not accept it,” Hashemi Rafsanjani said.

"Just today, I had a meeting with former Italian prime minister (Massimo D'Alema) and he told me that they have protested against the US and criticized Washington for acting alone and unilaterally," he continued.

"The former Italian premier also added that they (in response) have made a decision in the (EU) Council of Minister in Brussels to ease the EU sanctions against Iran independent from the US," Rafsanjani added.

In a Monday meeting, foreign ministers of the 28-nation bloc expressed support for the deal reached on November 24 in Geneva as "a long-awaited signal of the commitment of all sides to build trust and reduce tensions" over Iran’s nuclear program.

"A swift implementation of the voluntary measures by all sides is now key," the EU ministers said in their statement.

"Iran has to implement its commitments in good faith. For its part, the (EU) Council is committed to take the necessary steps and to suspend those EU sanctions as set out in the Joint Plan of Action,” they added.

According to the statement, sanctions will be suspended after inspectors from the IAEA verify the implementation of nuclear-related measures by Iran.

On November 24, Iran and the five permanent United Nations Security Council members sealed the six-month Joint Plan of Action to lay the groundwork for the full resolution of the West’s decade-old dispute with Iran over its nuclear energy program.

In exchange for Tehran’s confidence-building bid to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities, the Sextet of world powers agreed to lift some of the existing sanctions against Tehran and continue talks with the country to settle all problems between the two sides.

Iran and the six world powers (the US, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany) had an expert meeting in Vienna, Austria, on December 9. The negotiations were scheduled to continue until December 13, but the Iranian negotiators cut short the talks and returned to Iran in protest at the US breach of the Geneva agreement by blacklisting a dozen companies and individuals for evading Washington’s sanctions.

US Secretary of State John Kerry tried to soothe Tehran’s anger over Washington’s fresh sanctions in a phone call to his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif Monday night.

Speaking to reporters after the phone conversation between the two top diplomats, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham said, “The phone call was initiated by the US secretary of state.”

Afkham, who was speaking to reporters during a weekly press conference on Tuesday, told reporters that during the phone talk "he (Kerry) was informed of Iran’s dissatisfaction with the trend of the experts' plan and the details of the implementation of the Joint Plan of Action (the Geneva agreement)”.

On Sunday, Zarif deplored Washington's recent move, and said Tehran would show a well-assessed and goal-oriented reaction to any measure adopted by the world powers in violation of the deal.

“The Americans have taken improper measures in the last few days and we have given the appropriate response to them after considering all aspects of the issue,” Zarif said.

He stressed that Tehran is seriously pursuing the Geneva negotiations with the G5+1, “and we will, of course, show proper, well-assessed, targeted and smart reaction to any improper and unconstructive measure (of the opposite side even if it doesn’t violate the Geneva agreement)”.

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