Saturday, 26 May, 2018

Iran seeks 'clear future design' for imperilled nuclear deal

Iran's FM Mohammad Javad Zarif Visits Beijing, Russia and Europe to Save Nuclear Deal Iran minister on diplomatic tour to save nuclear deal
Ellis Copeland | 16 May, 2018, 12:55

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif left for Beijing from Tehran on Sunday for talks on the 2015 nuclear deal following United States President Donald Trump's decision to abandon the agreement.

And on Monday Putin met Yukiya Amano, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, telling him that Russian Federation was "ready to continue to uphold the Iran nuclear deal despite the withdrawal of the United States".

"One of the questions that we need to ask the Americans is whether their final objective is to make the Iranians yield on its nuclear program or to get rid of the regime", said a senior French official, acknowledging that Paris was concerned by the ideological shift in Washington since John Bolton was appointed U.S. national security adviser.

China and Iran have agreed to uphold the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) - also referred to as the "Iranian nuclear deal" - during Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif's visit to Beijing.

He said he believed both sides were "on the right track" to make sure that the interests of the deal's "remaining participants, particularly Iran, will be preserved and guaranteed".

He also acknowledged that the U.S. sanctions against Iran could affect European companies, which shows "how difficult" the situation was to resolve, said Roth. "Our meetings will continue during the upcoming two weeks".

Highlighting just how hard it will be, the U.S. Treasury announced on Tuesday more sanctions, including on Iran's central bank governor, just minutes before the Brussels meeting was due to begin.

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Boris Johnson has called on Iran to stick to its nuclear agreement with the UK, France and Germany in a bid to protect companies fearful of being penalised for doing business there.

Merkel is set to visit Russian Federation and meet Putin in the Black Sea resort of Sochi on Friday, while French President Emmanuel Macron will be in Saint Petersburg later this month for an economic forum. On May 13, Zarif visited China, and his next stop after his talks with Lavrov will be Brussels, where he will meet with EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini and top German, French and British diplomats.

Iran has said it is preparing to resume "industrial-scale" uranium enrichment "without any restrictions" unless Europe can provide solid guarantees that it can maintain trade ties despite renewed USA sanctions.

After long negotiations, Iran had agreed in July 2015 to freeze its nuclear programme in return for the lifting of punishing worldwide sanctions.

He said: "What we are going to do tomorrow in Brussels is we are going to have a conversation about what we can do to help United Kingdom firms, European firms have some confidence that they can still do business". He will also have similar discussions with France, Germany and Britain on Tuesday. He reportedly said he wants to see the nuclear pact redesigned without the United States in it.

Iran signed the nuclear deal in 2015 with the United States, the EU, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russian Federation.

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