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As the European Union (EU) is trying to salvage the Iran nuclear deal after the U.S. walked out of it, Tehran now wants Europe to submit a package of oil and bank guarantees to Tehran by the end of the month, according to a senior Iranian official.
Top diplomats from China, Russia, France, Germany, and the UK are meeting with Iranian counterparts in Vienna today to discuss the fate of the nuclear deal.
“The meeting will offer an opportunity to review the implications of the withdrawal of the United States from the JCPOA and discuss the way forward to ensure the continued implementation of the deal in all its aspects,” the EU said ahead of the deal.
Before today’s talks, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei issued five demands to the EU—including Europe guaranteeing Iran’s oil will be completely sold—that European leaders could find quite difficult to meet.
“Iran will resume halted nuclear activities if Europe fails to provide guarantees,” Ayatollah Khamenei said, a week after the EU said that it would act to protect the interests of EU companies investing in Iran as part of the European bloc’s continued commitment to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
One of Iran’s demands to the EU is that “Europe must guarantee that Iran’s oil will be completely sold. If the US can damage the sale of our oil, we must be able to sell as much oil as we want. Europeans must guarantee that they compensate for the loss, and that they buy Iran’s oil.”
Speaking to reporters in Vienna on Friday, the Iranian official said:
“We expect the (economic) package to be given to us by the end of May.”
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“I’m sorry to say that we haven’t (seen) the Plan B yet. The Plan B has just started to be figured out,” Reuters quoted the official as saying.
Iran wants the EU economic package to ensure that Iranian oil exports will not be stopped and that Iran will continue to have access to the Brussels-based Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) system that banks use to verify international transactions.
“There’s going to be a lot of discussions about SWIFT,” Ellie Geranmayeh, a senior fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, told Bloomberg on Friday. “SWIFT is critical,” Geranmayeh added.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.