© REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina
FILE PHOTO: Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif
Acquiescing to Washington's hardline stance on Tehran spells catastrophe for Europe, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has argued, warning that there will be consequences for their u-turn on the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

The decision by European signatories of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to trigger a mechanism that could lead to UN sanctions against Iran is a "disaster" for Europe, Zarif said during an interview with Germany's Der Spiegel magazine. He claimed that, behind closed doors, European leaders have admitted that they dare not defy US President Donald Trump's unilateral decision to pull out from the accord and to implement sanctions.

The Europeans call us and say: 'We're sorry, we cannot do anything.' The Europeans can't buckle to Trump and then try to act like the strong man against Iran.

He noted that Britain, France and Germany have repeatedly failed to honor their side of the agreement and have no "legitimate" grounds for pushing for UN sanctions against the Islamic republic.

"They can't just refer something to the Security Council because they are Europeans and they have blue eyes," he said, adding that the Europeans would "be up against a major battle" with Russia and China if they tried to move forward with sanctions.