May 23, 2018

Iran hails 'positive' talks to salvage nuclear deal despite new U.S. sanctions

16 May 2018, 02:11 | Taylor George

Iran does not want 'new tensions' in Mideast: Rouhani

John Bolton: Leaving Iran deal makes America safer (Commentary)

After an hour-long meeting at European Union headquarters in Brussels, Zarif said he believed both sides were "on the right track" to make sure that the interests of Iran and the non-U.S. partners "will be preserved and guaranteed".

On Wednesday, EU leaders will hold a dinner before a European Council meeting in Sofia at which they will discuss options to protect European businesses. German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier meanwhile headed to Russian Federation on Monday to help prepare a meeting between Mrs Merkel and President Vladimir Putin set for the end of the week in Sochi.

With the EU-US relationship under strain from the ongoing disputes over possible US tariffs on EU steel and aluminium imports, the divide over the Iran deal is another blight in the historic political and economic alliance.

The White House on Sunday threatened to impose sanctions on European companies that do business with Iran after Trump withdrew the United States from the 2015 accord negotiated by the Obama administration.

New Zealand exported $120 million of goods to Iran past year, with dairy products making up three-quarters of that. "It has crucial significance not only for ensuring regional security, but also for stability in the world, and it's extraordinarily important in the regime of nuclear non-proliferation".

Iran's foreign minister said Sunday he was hopeful of forging a "clear future design" for the nuclear deal facing collapse after Washington's withdrawal, at the start of a diplomatic tour aimed at rescuing the agreement.

The Iranian foreign minister's conversation with Asselborn came as the former is visiting Brussels to attend a trilateral meeting with his French, British, and German counterparts as well as the European Union foreign policy chief on the fate of the Iran nuclear deal.

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MOSCOW, Russia - Iran's foreign minister was in Moscow on Monday, May 14, as Russia tries to keep the Iran nuclear deal alive in the wake of Washington's pull-out, pushing it into rare cooperation with Europe. "There is no Plan B", he said.

The US, he said, is not going it alone on Iran. "We will have to see whether those remaining in the JCPOA can deliver those benefits to Iran", he was quoted as saying upon arrival in the Belgian capital.

"We started our work to get assurances from Europe". It even touted its lack of exposure to the USA market as an advantage over its German rivals, and sales in Iran helped to offset PSA's difficulties in territories such as China and the United Kingdom. Therefore they have to provide the hawks in the Trump administration (Pompeo, Bolton, et al.) with a plausible pretext for starting the war, and a couple of downed Israeli planes would do nicely. Iran's President Hassan Rouhani promised that Tehran was determined to stick to the JCPOA and comply with its commitments.

French oil giant Total signed a $5bn contract with the National Iranian Oil Company in July 2017 for the development and production of phase 11 of South Pars, the world's largest gas field.

A French government official told reporters earlier this week that the US practice of punishing foreign companies operating in foreign countries like Iran "is a real problem".

He said that he spoke to US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to request exceptions for French companies, a delay in implementing sanctions, and a so-called grandfather clause for companies that invested in Iran while the treaty was in place.

"We are ready to talk to all the companies concerned about what we can do to minimize the negative consequences" of the USA sanctions, German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier told Deutschlandfunk radio.

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