Iran's nuclear deal deadline on meeting agenda

Minnie Murray
May 17, 2018

Moscow does not rule out Iran withdrawing from the nuclear deal with world powers, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said at a session of the Valdai global discussion club on Tuesday. "I believe that the scenario of Iran's withdrawal from the agreement can't be fully ruled out, if Iran does not agree with the other participants on a basis suitable for it", TASS quoted Ryabkov as saying.

Iran's foreign minister is visiting China for talks following President Donald Trump's decision to scrap US participation in the agreement over Iran's nuclear program.

"It was a nice and constructive meeting", Mohammad Javad Zarif was quoted as saying by Tasnim news agency.

However, Ryabkov added that Moscow did not believe the accord could be amended to include limits on Iran's actions in the Middle East or its ballistic missile program, as has been demanded by US President Donald Trump.

But while Pompeo 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.

Roth made the comments in Brussels ahead of a meeting due to take place there between Iran, France, Germany and Britain on Tuesday to discuss the nuclear deal.

Iran said it would remain committed to the deal without Washington if Tehran achieved its goals - namely being protected from sanctions against key sectors of its economy such as oil - in cooperation with other countries that have signed up to the agreement.

"The Europeans, after the withdrawal of the USA from the deal, have found themselves forced to save the Joint Cooperative Plan of Action themselves", he told AFP.

Trump hit back Saturday evening, tweeted that the accord had failed to contain Iran's militarism.


"We hope recent events will lead us not to trust in the West and even Europeans", he said Sunday, according to the conservative-linked Fars news agency.

"We are waiting now for how the decision-makers in the European Union will react".

The U.S. Treasury announced on Tuesday more sanctions on officials of the Iranian central bank, including Governor Valiollah Seif, for allegedly moving millions of dollars on behalf of the country's Revolutionary Guards Corps to Lebanon's Shi'ite Hezbollah group.

Zarif said he was seeking "assurances" from the nuclear deal's backers following the withdrawal of the US.

Speaking alongside Mr le Drian, Mr Johnson said: "The UK and France are determined to conserve the essence of the Iran nuclear deal".

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

China offered to hold strategic talks with Iran but did not disclose whether Beijing might scale back imports in light of renewed US sanctions.

They include retaliatory sanctions, allowing the European Investment Bank to invest directly in Iran and coordinating euro-denominated credit lines from European governments.

"We are stakeholders in the Vienna agreement and we are going to stay stakeholders", he said.

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