Will reduce more nuclear deal commitments unless Europe protects Iran from US sanctions: Javad Zarif

Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks during a news conference in Baghdad. Photograph:( Reuters )

Reuters Tehran, Iran Jul 31, 2019, 03.36 PM (IST)

Iran is set to further cut its commitments to its international nuclear deal unless its European partners move to protect it from US sanctions by ensuring it can sell oil and receive income, its foreign minister said on Wednesday.

"Under the current circumstances and until the necessary measures are taken (by the Europeans), the Republic of Iran will absolutely implement the third step (in cutting commitments)," Mohammad Javad Zarif said, adding that its European partners should guarantee Iran could sell its oil and collect the revenue.

Iran has said it will reduce its commitment to the nuclear accord in stages and may even withdraw from the pact unless the Europeans find ways to shield its economy from the US sanctions.

Meanwhile, the commander of a British warship accompanying UK-flagged ships through the Strait of Hormuz amid heightened tensions with Iran said Wednesday that Tehran appeared to be testing the Royal Navy's resolve.

William King, commander of HMS Montrose, said during 27 days patrolling the flashpoint entrance to the Gulf he had had 85 "interactions with Iranian forces", which had often led to "an exchange of warnings" over the radio.

"That gives you some idea of the intensity... (it) is perhaps more than we've seen of recent times," he told BBC Radio in a phone interview from aboard the frigate.

"The Iranians seem to be keen to test our resolve, test our reactions most of the time," King added.

"They'll claim that perhaps our presence is illegitimate, even though we're completely lawfully in international waters.

"They may also run boats in at speed towards us, to test what warning levels we get to."

Story highlights

Iran has said it will reduce its commitment to the nuclear accord in stages and may even withdraw from the pact unless the Europeans find ways to shield its economy from the US sanctions.