Europe offers no guarantees but vows to keep Iran deal alive

Europe offers no guarantees but vows to keep Iran deal alive

As reported by CNN, Zarif discussed the nuclear deal, also known as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov to ensure that the same remains in its place.

In one of a series of meetings, foreign ministers from Britain, France and Germany - signatories of the 2015 deal to stop Iran developing nuclear weapons - were to hold talks with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, amid concerns that the sanctions will also damage European business interests.

Iran's foreign minister is due to land in Brussels later Tuesday on the final leg of a global tour rallying diplomatic support for the country's nuclear deal after the Trump administration's abrupt withdrawal.

The deal, painstakingly negotiated over more than a decade, lifted punishing economic sanctions on Iran in return for it abandoning its nuclear ambitions. "I believe it's a good start", he added.

The exit drew swift criticism from the deal's other signatories, including U.S. allies in Europe who'd tried for weeks to persuade Trump to remain on board and said they plan to keep their commitment to the deal.

The U.S. Treasury has put European businesses on notice that they have 90 days to wrap up most business with Iran before the renewed U.S. sanctions take effect, and U.S. leaders have been warning European companies to heed the sanctions.

On Wednesday, the European Commission will meanwhile discuss the EU's 1990s-era blocking sanctions, Mogherini said.

"It's not yet clear to us or to Europe what that means in respect of existing export levels in the eyes of the United States", Mr Parker said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has acknowledged that the Iran nuclear deal "certainly has weaknesses" but says it should be preserved. In a separate interview on CNN's "State of the Union, " he said Iran's economic condition is "really quite shaky, " so the impact of sanctions "could be dramatic".

Europe and Iran sought a common front on Tuesday to save the nuclear deal without the United States, although some diplomats doubted privately it can survive the reimposition of US sanctions ordered by President Donald Trump.

The list of goals amounts to a European refusal to accept that Trump's decision last week to withdraw from the 2015 deal will spell its demise, underscoring a growing rift between the traditional allies.

"We together regretted the withdrawal of the United States", Mogherini said, speaking on behalf of Iran's Javad Zarif, France's Jean-Yves Le Drian, Germany's Heiko Maas and the U.K.'s Boris Johnson.

She and other European power will meet again in Vienna next week.

German exports to Iran totalled almost €3bn (£2.6bn) in 2017, while French exports soared from €562m in 2015 to €1.5bn in 2017.

It comes after Iranian President Hassan Rohani confirmed Tehran would remain in the nuclear accord provided that the nation's interests were protected.

"We have to accept, be realistic about the electrified rail, the live wire of American extraterritoriality and how that can serve as a deterrent to businesses", Johnson said.

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

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