May 21, 2018

Iran foreign minister scrambles to China and Russian Federation to save nuclear deal

15 May 2018, 05:49 | Taylor George

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif attends a meeting with his Russian and Turkish counterparts in Moscow

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif attends a meeting with his Russian and Turkish counterparts in Moscow

The accord lifted global 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.

US President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the 2015 agreement constitutes "a complete disregard for worldwide law and the United Nations Charter", Mohammad Javad Zarif said in the letter.

Speaking during a visit to London, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian also condemned as "intolerable" comments by Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov after a knife-attack in Paris on Saturday.

But European diplomats have sought to play down expectations of Tuesday's meeting, stressing the enormous challenge of finding a way around United States sanctions punishing foreign businesses trading with Iran, which have global reach.

The EU's executive arm, the European Commission, has been examining measures to counter the introduction of any US sanctions that might harm European businesses and is expected to unveil them to EU leaders at a meeting in Bulgaria on Wednesday.

A delegation of Iranian experts of various economic fields, headed by Iran's deputy foreign minister, Abbas Araqchi, arrived in Brussels May 14 as well for negotiations on the nuclear deal.

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"Today we expect to examine how we can use the mechanisms at our disposal with the participation of the European Troika, China, Russia, Iran and the European Union to prevent the undermining of this important document, to prevent destabilization of the situation in the region and to prevent new threats to the non-proliferation regime. Now, that will not happen!"

Germany's minister for economic affairs, Peter Altmaier, said on Sunday that Berlin would try to "persuade the U.S. government to change its behavior".

Israel and Iran engaged in an extensive military exchange on the heels of Trump's decision to leave the deal.

As a private citizen, Bolton suggested in the past that the United States push for a change in Iran's government. Bolton said Sunday on ABC's "This Week".

The files - declared "authentic" by the U.S. government - document Iran's extensive work on nuclear weapons, including planned site tests, miniaturization of warheads and ballistic missile delivery vehicles. "Let me make it absolutely clear, and once and for all: we will neither outsource our security nor will we renegotiate or add onto a deal we have already implemented in good faith".

This, along with its diplomatic moves to orchestrate an end to the Syrian conflict, has put Moscow at loggerheads with the USA and Europe, which have intervened against the regime.

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