Rouhani: Action Needed to Save Nuclear Deal

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says it will be difficult for Tehran to stay in the 2015 nuclear accord it signed with world powers if it cannot benefit from the agreement.

Rouhani told French President Emmanuel Macron in a phone call Tuesday that the remaining co-signers to the treaty — France, Britain, Germany, Russia and China — will have to find a way to compensate Iran after President Donald Trump decided to withdraw the United States from the pact and reimpose sanctions.

In the landmark agreement, reached during the Obama administration, the world powers had agreed to lift international sanctions on Iran in exchange for Tehran’s promise to scale back its nuclear activities.

Trump said the deal was flawed because it favored Iran more than the others. His decision to withdraw in May has left France, Germany and Britain scrambling to make sure Iran receives enough financial incentive to stay in the deal.

Rouhani’s website quoted him as saying: “We must not let this great achievement of diplomacy be destroyed by others’ unilateral actions, which are unfaithful to their promises.”

French officials have indicated that the rest of the signatories plan to meet soon in Vienna.

Source : VOA


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China to Host Rouhani After US Withdrawal From Iranian Nuclear Deal

Amid current tensions between Washington and Tehran, Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on the sidelines of the forthcoming Eurasian Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) meeting June 9-10 in Qingdao, China.

Analysts say Rouhani’s presence at the SCO conference will send a message that China is ready to fill the void left after the U.S. withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal earlier this month.

Xi supported the 2015 Iran nuclear accord, which Trump had called deeply flawed before withdrawing America from the deal, formally called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Hassan Askari Rizvi, a Pakistan-based expert on international affairs, told VOA that China could use this opportunity to expand its influence and grow its business in Iran, filling a void left by the U.S. It could be an important step for China to grow its presence in the Middle East, he added.

Walter Andersen, former chief of the U.S. State Department’s South Asia Division in the Office of Analysis for the Near East and South Asia, told VOA that Iran is not a member of the SCO. He said Rouhani was likely attending the summit because of tense relations between Tehran and Washington.

Andersen added that China should be careful before announcing any new trade-related policy with Iran as the U.S. has said that any company dealing with Iran would be subject to sanctions as well.

Topics of discussion at the upcoming SCO summit are to include terrorism, separatism, extremism and cybersecurity breaches.

The two main players of the bloc, China and Russia, could ask other countries, such as Pakistan, India and Iran, to look toward Beijing and Moscow rather than the West.

Source : Voanews


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Rouhani Hails Turn in French-Iranian Relations

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Iran is ready to “turn the page for a new relationship” with France, as leaders of the two countries were expected to sign trade agreements following the lifting of international sanctions imposed over its nuclear program.

“We had strong signs that France wanted an agreement and with this official visit, it shows that France has the ambition for this collaboration and I as well,” he told a group of French business leaders during a forum Thursday.

“I am saying it loud and clear from my side, in my name and in the name of my government that this is also our intention.”

During his time in Paris, the Iranian leader is expected to agree to a deal to buy over 100 passenger planes from European aircraft maker Airbus, to update its aging fleet.

French officials also say he is expected to approve an agreement paving the way for a joint venture with French car manufacturer Peugeot Citroen and the Iranian firm Khodro.

Under the deal, Peugeot, which pulled out of Iran in 2012, will modernize a Khodro factory near Tehran. The joint venture is expected to begin producing 200,000 vehicles a year starting in 2017.

Agreements in health, agriculture and the environment are also expected. He was expected to meet later Thursday with French President Francois Hollande.

Source : VOA


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