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Rouhani seeks guarantees to stay in N-deal
July 05, 2018
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VIENNA: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday was on the second leg of his European tour seeking assurances over the 2015 nuclear deal, a trip clouded by the arrest of a Tehran diplomat over an alleged bomb plot against opposition exiles in Paris.

Rouhani arrived late Tuesday in Vienna -- the city where it was signed.

“Insofar as it is possible for Iran, we shall remain party to the accord, we shall not quit the JCPOA (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) on condition that we can also benefit from it,” Rouhani said.

“If the other signatories, apart from the United States, can guarantee Iran’s interests then Iran will stay in the JCPOA”, he insisted.

“We need a balance between our duties and the hypothesis of restrictions. We hope for decisive actions regarding trade and the economy,” added Rouhani in comments sending a message to the other deal signatories, whose foreign ministers are due to meet in Vienna on Friday.

Rouhani’s visit follows reports of the Iranian diplomat’s arrest along with five others over a purported foiled attack on a rally of thousands of Iranian opposition supporters in Paris.

Rouhani has not changed his programme over what his foreign minister dismissed as a “false flag ploy” designed as a distraction.

“How convenient: Just as we embark on a presidential visit to Europe, an alleged Iranian operation and its ‘plotters’ arrested,” Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted.

Just hours before welcoming Rouhani to Austria, Vienna summoned Iran’s ambassador and announced that the unnamed diplomat’s status would be withdrawn.

The diplomat attached to the Iranian embassy in Austria, who was detained in Germany, was believed to be a contact of a couple at the centre of the alleged plot.

He may soon be extradited to Belgium, which is spearheading a probe into the alleged bomb plot, prosecutors told the German news agency DPA.

“We are waiting for full clarification” on the case, Kurz said at a press conference alongside Rouhani.

Zarif, who is accompanying Rouhani, will on Friday meet top envoys from the five powers for the first time since Washington’s withdrawal.

Kurz had said he would speak plainly with Rouhani about Iran’s role in the Middle East, as Tehran continues to deny accusations it is destabilising the region.

Agence France-Presse
 

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