Published: Tue, May 15, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Russia: Iran Must Offer Concessions on Nuclear Deal

Iran's foreign minister said he had a "very good and constructive" meeting with the EU's foreign policy chief, as the bloc seeks to save the nuclear agreement following last week's United States withdrawal.

The meeting was held in the morning (local time) at Europa building of Brussels which homes the European Council.

In remarks before his departure for Brussels, Zarif talked about the objective of his negotiations with European officials and said he held good and substantive meetings with his counterparts in Russian Federation and China.

"We agreed over the importance of full implementation of the nuclear deal. and preserving the interests of Iran and all those remaining parties." he said.

Russian Federation will comply with its liabilities within framework of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action regarding the Iranian nuclear program to reconfigure the Fordow enrichment facility.

Britain, France and Germany were to press Iran later on Tuesday to stay in the nuclear accord which US President Donald Trump abandoned last week and which has left Europe with few ways of keeping the accord's benefits flowing to Tehran.

Mohammad Javad Zarif talked with Federica Mogherini to prepare a bigger meeting later on Tuesday with the three other European Union partners in the landmark deal - Germany, France and Britain.

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Putin has already spoken with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan about efforts to save the accord, after voicing his "deep concern" over Trump's decision. Trump also warned his European allies he would impose stiff sanctions on EU companies who either do business in Iran or who opt to honour legally binding business contracts with Iranian companies. Commerce between Iran and China has more than doubled since 2006 to $28 billion with oil exports from Iran valued at $11 billion a year.

Many European diplomats doubt privately that the 2015 accord between Iran and six world powers can survive the reimposition of USA sanctions ordered by Trump, but the European powers will say that they stick by the terms of the 2015 pact giving Iran sanctions relief in return for an end to its nuclear ambitions.

The EU hopes to convince Tehran to continue to adhere to the accord.

In the past week, it has slapped a new series of sanctions against Iran.

Iran has said it would remain in the JCPOA for now, pending negotiations with the other signatories before making a final decision. "Our meetings will continue during the upcoming two weeks".

Trump has repeatedly bucked the advice of his intelligence community regarding Iran and regularly resorted to his TV reality show campaign rhetoric when discussing the JCPOA, calling the agreement - which was signed by his predecessor Barack Obama - "the worst deal in history".

Meanwhile, a U.S. State Department spokeswoman said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had spoken to his German, French, and British counterparts in recent days to discuss cooperation over Iran.

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