(Persia Digest) – President Rouhani’s special envoy to France, deputy FM Araghchi, stressed that Iran, as a producer and exporter of oil, will not allow any disturbance in shipping through the Strait of Hormuz.
Mehr News reports that he made the remark in a meeting with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on Tuesday. The Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi was in Paris as a special presidential envoy to deliver Rouhani’s letter to his French counterpart Emanuel Macron.
During the meeting with Le Drian, Araghchi maintained that Iran’s decision to reduce commitments to the 2015 nuclear deal (JCPOA) was within its rights under the agreement, “therefore, diplomatic paths are still open” to venture into.
Then, he stressed that as a producer and exporter of oil, Iran holds the security of the Persian Gulf in high regard. “Iran will make every effort to ensure the security of this region, particularly the Strait of Hormuz, and will not allow any disturbance in shipping through this critical region.”
Araghchi went on to slam the US’ economic war against Iran, adding “the United States is targeting the Iranian people with its unlawful and unjust sanctions. Europe is expected to adopt a clear stance in opposition to the US’ maximum pressure policy to drive Iran’s oil exports to zero.”
“The Islamic Republic of Iran will continue exporting oil under any circumstances,” stressed the presidential envoy.
For his part, the French foreign minister maintained that his country seeks to de-escalate the existing tensions, adding “France stresses the preservation and implementation of the JCPOA, and will continue its efforts to this end.”
He then discussed the EU’s trade mechanism for Iran, officially known as INSTEX, saying “although the process of creating and launching the trade mechanism took long, the implementation of the mechanism is considered as an important political step.”
After the US’ withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal in May 2018, the European signatories to the deal said they were still trying to keep the accord alive by launching the long-awaited INSTEX to help Iran reap some benefits from the deal.
Iran says as long as the mechanism does not cover its oil revenues, INSTEX is of no use to the country.
Meanwhile, in response to US withdrawal the EU’s inaction, Iran has introduced two phases of its measures to reduce its JCPOA commitments. Tehran's moves come after its "strategic patience" wore thin after a year of waiting for the European nations to normalize trade ties with Iran.