Official warns Iran will withdraw from nuclear deal if ‘no economic benefit’

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Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

Iran has threatened to withdraw from the landmark 2015 nuclear deal with world powers if there is no economic benefit from it and major banks continue to fail to do business with Tehran.

“If the same policy of confusion and uncertainties about the JCPOA [nuclear agreement] continues, if companies and banks are not working with Iran, we cannot remain in a deal that has no benefit for us,” Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said on Feb. 22 in a speech at the Chatham House policy institute in London.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi / YJC

Under the July 2015 agreement between Iran and six major powers — Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia, and the United States — Tehran pledged to restrict its nuclear program in return for relief from crippling international economic sanctions.

But U.S. President Donald Trump delivered an ultimatum to European powers on Jan. 12, saying they must agree to “fix the terrible flaws of the Iran nuclear deal” or he would refuse to extend the U.S. sanctions relief on Iran that it calls for.

U.S. sanctions will resume unless Trump issues fresh “waivers” to suspend them on May 12.

“The deal would not survive this way even if the ultimatum is passed and waivers are extended,” Araqchi said.

Araqchi and other Iranian officials arrived in London for “political talks” on Feb. 21, Iranian semiofficial news agency ISNA reported.