Iran to cooperate with EU signatories of 2015 nuclear deal, warns US on sanctions

Updated 10 June 2019

Iran to cooperate with EU signatories of 2015 nuclear deal, warns US on sanctions

  • The US pulled out of it last year and reimposed sanctions on Iran
  • Iran criticized European signatories for failing to salvage the pact after Trump's pullout

SINGAPORE/TEHRAN: Iran's Foreign Minister Zarif said on Monday Tehran will cooperate with European signatories of 2015 nuclear deal to save it.

“We had frank and serious talks with (visiting German Foreign Minister Heiko) Maas ... Tehran will cooperate with EU signatories of the deal to save it,” Zarif told a joint news conference in Tehran.

Zarif also said Iran will never start a war, but will destroy any party who invades it.

“Whoever starts a war with us will not be the one who finishes it,” he said.

The US “cannot expect to stay safe” after launching its economic war, Zarif said.

"One cannot expect an economic war to continue against the Iranian people and that those waging this war and those supporting it remain safe," he said at a Tehran news conference with his visiting German counterpart Heiko Maas.

He directly blamed President Donald Trump for the ongoing tensions between Washington and Tehran.

“Mr. Trump himself has announced that the US has launched an economic war against Iran. The only solution for reducing tensions in this region is stopping that economic war,” Zarif said, adding that Germany and the EU had an "important role" in such efforts.

Earlier today, Iran criticized the European signatories of its 2015 nuclear deal for failing to salvage the pact after President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of it last year and reimposed sanctions, state television reported.

“So far, we have not seen practical and tangible steps from the Europeans to guarantee Iran’s interests ... Tehran will not discuss any issue beyond the nuclear deal,” said foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi. 

US President Donald Trump imposed sweeping sanctions on Iran after walking away from a 2015 nuclear between Tehran and world powers that eased sanctions in exchange for curbs on its atomic programme.

The German minister said his country would do its utmost to ensure tensions do not escalate.

"There is war in Syria and in Yemen, fortunately not here," Maas said. "We want to do everything we can to keep it that way (for Iran.)

"Tensions here in the region are worrying, and we fear that isolated events could trigger developments that end in violence, and we want to prevent this at all costs," he added.

Syrian insurgents shell government-held rural area, kill 12

Updated 2 min 4 sec ago

Syrian insurgents shell government-held rural area, kill 12

  • The attack late Sunday took place in the village of Wadehi, south of Syria’s Aleppo city
  • A car bomb went off near the headquarters of the Kurdish security forces in Qamishli
DAMASCUS, Syria: Syrian insurgents fired rockets into residential parts of the government-held northern province of Aleppo, striking a wedding party and killing at least 12 civilians and wounding 15, state media said Monday.
The attack late Sunday took place in the village of Wadehi, south of Aleppo city, which abuts the last rebel-held enclave.
Syria’s state TV Al-Ikhbariya said children were among those killed and some of the wounded were in critical conditions. The TV said more rockets landed as people tried to escape from the scene of the attack.
One woman told the TV that a missile landed in a room where four girls were, killing them. Another girl said her two sisters and one brother were killed in the strike.
A doctor speaking to the TV station said three of the wounded were in critical condition. Images from inside an Aleppo hospital broadcast on Al-Ikhbariya TV show men and children lying on stretchers, some with their heads bandaged, while others have what appears to be abdomen wounds.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported fatalities, saying four children were killed in the attack.
Al-Ikhbariya TV said the military responded to the source of fire, areas controlled by insurgents in the nearby rebel stronghold.
Fighting has raged over the last seven weeks in northwestern Syria as government forces press an offensive toward the last rebel stronghold in the country’s eight-year civil war.
The violence has displaced hundreds of thousands inside the rebel enclave, which is home to 3 million people, most of them already displaced from earlier violence in Syria. At least 300 civilians were killed in government bombings, and over two dozen health facilities were put out of service following airstrikes.
Separately, in eastern Syria’s town of Qamishli, a car bomb went off near the headquarters of the Kurdish security forces, leaving several people injured. Qamishli is run by Kurdish-led administrators and forces, but Syrian government troops hold pockets of territory there, including the airport.
The area has largely been spared much of the violence that has wrecked Syria. But attacks, mostly blamed on Daesh militants, have occurred recently in areas in eastern Syria after the extremists were kicked out of their last territorial enclave in Syria earlier this year.
In a video by the Kurdish news agency Hawar, the explosion appeared to have damaged a number of cars nearby. Then authorities lifted the mangled car bomb from the area.
The Observatory said seven were injured when a suicide bomber detonated the car bomb after failing to drive into the Kurdish security forces headquarters.