Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Iran, EU top diplomat meet seeking to save nuclear deal

Iran, EU top diplomat meet seeking to save nuclear deal

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the U.S. decision to withdraw from the deal was a serious blow.

With Germany, France, Britain and the European Union vowing to remain committed to the worldwide deal, businesses have been thrust in the middle.

Before the tour Zarif reiterated that Iran was preparing to resume "industrial scale" uranium enrichment "without any restrictions" unless Europe provided solid guarantees it could maintain trade ties despite renewed United States sanctions.

"Breaking global regulations and agreements has now become a habit for the US regime", Zarif told reporters in Moscow after meeting Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, according to Iran's state-run Tasnim News Agency.

A source in the Iranian Foreign Ministry informed TASS earlier this week that Zarif will pay a visit to Moscow on May 14 for consultations on the nuclear deal. The two countries are also signatories to the deal.

"After all, Iran is ready to talk".

It's unclear how well the measure could be enforced, given that big multinationals are likely to be doing more business in the US than they are in Iran and may be unwilling to compromise that market access.

Trump's decision has angered Washington's allies in Europe as well as China and Russian Federation.

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Arriving in the Belgian capital, Mr Johnson said: "We think it (the JCPOA) has value, we continue to believe in it even though America has chose to walk away".

The statement said "the Iranian regime's reckless actions pose a severe threat to regional peace and security". "Russia can now go ahead at full speed", he said.

Before leaving, Zarif published a government statement on his Twitter page, slamming the "extremist administration" of United States president Donald Trump for abandoning "an accord recognised as a victory of diplomacy by the worldwide community". Its critics, Trump among them, described it as federal government overreach that would cause skyrocketing health costs for individuals.

Among Washington's allies the mood is not celebratory as Europe's largest economies are lobbying to protect their companies' investments in Iran.

"Do we accept extraterritorial sanctions?"

Bruno Le Maire, France's finance minister, also said he spoke with Mnuchin about getting an exemption for French firms that are present in Iran, including Renault, Total and Peugeot.

Total, which signed a $2 billion deal past year to develop an Iranian gas field, remains tight-lipped.

Mohammad Javad Zarif talked with Federica Mogherini to prepare a bigger meeting later on Tuesday with the three other European Union partners in the landmark deal - Germany, France and Britain.

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