Saturday, 17 November, 2018

Iran diplomat visits China for talks on nuclear deal crisis

Iran, Gaza, Trump's steel and aluminium tariffs on the menu at EU leaders' dinner in Sofia `With Friends Like These:' EU's Tusk Blasts Trump's Europe View
Ellis Copeland | 16 May, 2018, 14:12

Iran Foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif talks with the Belgian Foreign minister before their meeting at the Palais Egmont in Brussels on January 11, 2018. The Kremlin said that Russian Federation and its ex-Soviet allies in the European Economic Union will sign a free-trade pact with Iran next week. German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier meanwhile headed to Russian Federation on Monday to help prepare a meeting between Mrs Merkel and President Vladimir Putin set for the end of the week in Sochi.

All foreign businesses operating in Iran will be required to "wind down" activities or "risk severe consequences", the statement added, in effect threatening billions of dollars' worth of business deals.

"Instead", she wrote, "it is the (US) that is about to violate the very agreement it negotiated by reimposing nuclear-related sanctions while Iran remains in compliance".

"We need to receive those guarantees, and we will see how best we will move over", Zarif told reporters. "It has crucial significance not only for ensuring regional security, but also for stability in the world, and it's extraordinarily important in the regime of nuclear non-proliferation".

After the President Donald Trump announced his withdrawal from the Iran deal, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said his decision was "disappointing".

The talks in Brussels on Tuesday evening will be followed by a meeting with the Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in an intensive diplomatic effort to shore up agreement over the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) agreed in 2015.

We will make it clear to Zarif "that we stand by the agreements and also expect Iran to abide by them", said German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas.

However, Mr Mianji said he viewed the solidarity of the EU countries as a promising sign of the union's loyalty to the nuclear agreement and opposition of Mr Trump's sanctions. "There is no Plan B", he said.

"I would like our debate to reconfirm without any doubt that as long as Iran respects the provisions of the deal, the European Union will also respect it", Tusk said in a letter to the leaders on the eve of the summit. China is the biggest buyer of Iranian oil.

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But while he talked up the prospect of renewed coordination with America's allies, another top aide reminded Europe its companies could face sanctions if they continue to do business with the Middle Eastern power.

Basravi said the Rouhani government's "political health ... hangs in the balance" as the administration has "married itself to this deal and championed it as the answer to all" of the country's economic woes.

The U.S. wanted to reimpose sanctions if Iran began to expand its capacity to enrich uranium at that point.

"I heard one of the primary industry representatives postulating that it might mean, if nothing else, that it's more hard to increase exports to iran who, of course, used to be a much larger trading partner of New Zealand than they are even now", Mr Parker said.

The accord lifted worldwide sanctions on Iran in 2016 in return for Tehran shutting down its capacity, under strict surveillance by the United Nations nuclear watchdog, to stockpile enriched uranium for a possible atomic bomb.

Germany's minister for economic affairs Peter Altmaier said last week that Berlin will try to "persuade the United States government to change its behaviour".

Following Trump's decision to withdraw the U.S from the nuclear accord, Iran and Israel exchanged blows over Syria, with Israel carrying out air strikes on Iranian targets inside Syria after Iran fired rockets at Israeli military targets, the BBC reported.

"It is exactly when the things don't go well that rationality, calm, predictability, respect, dialogue are the most needed to avoid the worst case scenarios, to avoid conflict to spiral out of control", she said.

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