US Using Dollar as Weapon to Pressure Europe

The United States has turned its currency into a "weapon" and is using it to challenge the sovereignty of European nations, a senior Iranian official says.

  “Dollar has become a weapon for the United Sates to force its illegitimate demands upon its European partners, practically challenging their national sovereignty," Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Abbas Araqchi said.

Araqchi made the remarks during a trip to Italy, where he discussed mutual ties as well as the future of cooperation between Tehran and Europe amid Washington’s attempts to block trade between the two sides.

 In May, US President Donald Trump pulled out from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), a landmark nuclear deal signed between Iran and six world powers – the US, the UK, France, China, Russia and Germany – in 2015.

Elevating his anti-Iran campaign, Trump proceeded to reimpose a set of harsh economic sanctions that targeted the Islamic Republic’s oil sales and various industries while threatening to punish European companies that traded with Tehran.

Europe, however, decided to stick with the nuclear deal and vowed to come up with solutions that guaranteed trade ties with Iran without worry for US penalties.

During a meeting with Vito Rosario Petrocelli, the head of the Italian Senate's Foreign Committee, Araqchi reminded the Italian official that Iran had already fulfilled its commitments under the JCPOA and it was the European Union’s “direct responsibility” to hold up its end of the bargain.

The Iranian diplomat called on Europe to prevent America from using economic pressure as a weapon to establish hegemony.

Petrocelli hailed the JCPOA as an important achievement for global stability and said Rome was inclined to support the agreement.

Araqchi also discussed the deal’s future with Marta Grande, the president of the Foreigner and European Affairs Committee of Italy's Chamber of Deputies.

Grande said Europe was “determined” to work with Iran and kept working to establish a financial channel that would facilitate transactions between their businesses.

EU, South Africa confirm commitment to JCPOA

Earlier in the day, the JCPOA took the spotlight during the South Africa-European Union (SA-EU) Summit in Brussels, where leaders hailed Iran’s commitment to the landmark accord and expressed willingness to protect the deal in the absence of the US.

“We call on the remaining parties to the JCPOA to continue to honor their commitments under the agreement,” a joint statement read.

 “We stress the importance of the preservation and continued, full and effective implementation of all aspects of the JCPOA, which includes sanctions lifting and the consequences arising from it, in the interest of regional and international peace and security,” it added.

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