Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
Worldwide | By Angelina Lucas

Iran foreign minister sets off on tour to save nuclear deal

Iran foreign minister sets off on tour to save nuclear deal

In the wake of President Trump's decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, European leaders on Tuesday began discussions about how they might sweeten the deal to keep Iran from restarting its nuclear program and stand up to coming us sanctions on companies that do business in Iran.

The development came as Iran's foreign minister said he was hopeful of forging a "clear future design" for the pact, while speaking in Beijing at the start of a diplomatic tour aimed at rescuing it.

The European signatories to the Iran nuclear deal are seeking ways to soften the bite of US sanctions on companies doing business in the Islamic Republic, David O'Sullivan, the European Union's ambassador to the United States, said at the Atlantic Council on May 14.

The agreement on the Iranian nuclear program between Iran and the six global mediators (Russia, USA, UK, France, China, Germany) was concluded on 14 July 2015.

Bolton struck a more hawkish tone with his comments in an interview with CNN's "State of the Union" than Pompeo did when he was interviewed on "Fox News Sunday".

After an hour-long meeting at European Union headquarters in Brussels, Mr Zarif 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".

However, with regard to any specific legislation to address the issue of sanctions, O'Sullivan said, "when we better understand how this is going to be managed [the re-imposition of sanctions], we will know how to respond from the European side".

“It's time that European countries opened their eyes, ” Le Maire said on Europe 1 radio. "They were trying to take over the Middle East by whatever means necessary".

President Trump pulling out of the nuclear deal and Iran's missile exchanges with Israel are just ramping up the pressure in a country that's already dangerously close to boiling point.

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He was due to hold talks later in Brussels with the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany.

Cars of the Iranian delegation are parked outside a building of the at Diaoyutai state guesthouse in Beijing as Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif meets Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, China, May 13, 2018.

British Prime Minister Theresa May, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron have announced that they agreed to resume implementing their countries' obligations as per the nuclear agreement with Iran.

Russian Federation is trying to keep the landmark 2015 accord alive in the wake of US President Donald Trump's decision, pushing Moscow into rare cooperation with Europe.

Zarif also published a government statement on his Twitter page, slamming Trump's "extremist administration" for abandoning "an accord recognised as a victory of diplomacy by the worldwide community". European diplomats have complained that the Trump administration pulled out of the Iran agreement when they were still eager to continue consultations and without explaining Washington's new nuclear demands on Tehran.

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.

When asked whether he'd advocate for pre-emptive military strikes against Iran, Bolton reiterated that he's an adviser to the president and would not make the final decision.

But analysts said Iran was determined to maintain the moral high ground in the coming weeks.

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