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Iran prepared to remain in 2015 nuke deal without US

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (L) and Austrian Prime Minister Sebastian Kurz (R) hold a joint press conference in Vienna, Austria on 4 July 2018 [Aşkın Kıyağan/Anadolu Agency]
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (L) and Austrian Prime Minister Sebastian Kurz (R) hold a joint press conference in Vienna, Austria on 4 July 2018 [Aşkın Kıyağan/Anadolu Agency]

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Wednesday that Iran would remain in the landmark 2015 nuclear deal with the West — without the US — if the agreement’s other signatories could guarantee its interests.

Speaking at a joint press conference in Vienna with Austrian counterpart Alexander Van der Bellen, Rouhani described their meeting as “positive”.

“Iran will protect the nuclear deal if it can benefit from it,” Rouhani said.

“If signatories other than the US can guarantee Iran’s interests, Iran will remain in the deal,” he added.

Read: Iran says to let private sector to export oil to help beat US sanctions

Rouhani went on to describe Washington’s recent withdrawal from the deal as a violation of UN Security Council resolutions and its multilateral obligations.

“The US decision doesn’t benefit anybody,” he asserted.

Van der Bellen, for his part, stressed his country’s continued commitment to the landmark agreement.

“Austria’s position will not change as long as Iran fulfills its responsibilities,” he said.

Read: We would ‘absolutely’ sanction EU companies who trade with Iran says Trump

In May, US President Donald Trump withdrew the US from the nuclear deal, which was signed in 2015 between Iran and the P5+1 group of nations (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany).

The 2015 deal places restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for billions of dollars in sanctions relief.

During his electoral campaign in 2016, Trump had criticized the agreement, describing it as the “worst deal” he had ever seen.

Other members of the P5+1, however, say the deal in its current form represents the best means of reining in Iran’s nuclear program.

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