Ties with Europe crucial after US exit from n-deal: Rouhani

Tehran, July 3 (IANS) Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said here on Monday that Iran attaches high importance to ties with Europe after the US exit from the landmark 2015 Iranian nuclear deal in May.

“Now that the Americans have exited the JCPOA (the nuclear deal) in breach of international rules and their multi-lateral commitments, communication and negotiation with Europe enjoy a special position,” Rouhani told reporters in the capital Tehran before heading to Switzerland on Monday, Xinhua reported.

Rouhani is visiting the European country at the official invitation of his Swiss counterpart.

During his trip, the Iranian president will discuss a host of topics of mutual interest and is expected to discuss the future of nuclear agreement and Iran’s interests therewith, Press TV reported.

One of the key subjects on the agenda is a package which the Europeans are expected to offer to Iran in order to keep Tehran in the nuclear deal, also known as JCPOA.

From Switzerland, the Iranian president will travel to Austria where he will meet President Alexander Van der Bellen and Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.

Rouhani said “Europe’s current situation is to some extent different from the past. Europe is opposing unilateralism with a louder voice, and expressing readiness to cooperate with Iran and other important and influential countries on regional and international issues.”

“We will negotiate with Austria (over the JCPOA) as the president of the EU,” he said.

Rouhani is also expected to discuss other issues, including the conflicts in Syria and Yemen.

“The oppression which has been imposed on Syria and the crimes being committed against the Yemeni people, as well as the entire world’s responsibility vis-a-vis these issues, and the role which Iran can play in strengthening stability in the Middle East” will also be discussed, said Rouhani.

Iran will also sign documents for cooperation in the industrial, commercial, healthcare, education, and water resources management fields with Switzerland and Austria, he added.

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