Iran's top diplomat is asking world powers that remain committed to its 2015 nuclear deal to resist what he called U.S. "bullying tactics" and ensure that Iran is compensated for economic losses that result from U.S. withdrawal from the agreement.
In a letter made public on Twitter by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on June 7, Zarif said that for the deal to "survive," the "remaining signatories and other economic partners" need to "make up for Iran's losses" caused by the U.S. exit and planned reimposition of U.S. sanctions previously lifted under the deal.
Zarif said that "some of the most significant economic benefits to Iran from the [nuclear deal] derive from the sanctions-lifting obligation of the United States" and Iran is now seeking to determine "whether and how the remaining participants and economic partners can ensure the full benefits that the Iranian people are entitled to derive."
Zarif warned that "if, after the exhaustion of available remedies, our people's rights and benefits are not compensated, it is Iran's unquestionable right...to take appropriate action" in response to the U.S. withdrawal.
Zarif's demand for compensation from other powers that signed the nuclear deal comes as an increasing number of businesses have announced they will exit Iran rather than face the possibility of billion-dollar fines from the United States for violating its sanctions.
Among the major companies that have announced full or partial pullouts are Total, Renault, Reliance, Allianz, DZ Bank, Danske Bank, BCP, Maersk, and KBC.
The economic losses from the announced pullouts likely amount to many billions of dollars, analysts have estimated. The loss of markets for Iranian crude oil alone could cut Iranian export earnings and revenues by as much as $10 billion a year.
In his letter, which is addressed to the world's foreign ministers and originally dated May 23, Zarif calls on all countries to stand up to what he described as Washington's "bullying tactics" -- threats to penalize other countries if they refuse to go along with the renewed U.S. sanctions against Iran.
Zarif said a list of demands U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued after the U.S. withdrawal, including pulling out of Syria and ending all ballistic-missile development, "flies in the face of international law and civilized state practice" and "endangers the entire global nonproliferation regime."
"His threats of arm-twisting against other nations will make the world hostage to the economic and political diktats of this impulsive administration," Zarif said.
"The specter of extreme unilaterialism is once against hovering upon the world, and we all should rise up and resist it," he said.