Iran, EU try to save nuclear deal

Adjust Comment Print

According to Iranian state TV, the Iranian nuclear chief said that the European Union should make up for the USA withdrawal from the nuclear deal or Tehran would enrich uranium "stronger than before". The foreign ministers of the three European powers will meet their Iranian counterpart in Brussels on Tuesday to discuss a way forward.

"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. Iran has said it is preparing to resume "industrial-scale" uranium enrichment "without any restrictions" unless Europe can provide solid guarantees that it can maintain trade ties despite renewed USA sanctions.

However, President Trump has explicitly noted that USA hopes to reach a "fair" deal with Iran through new rounds of talks.

French President Emmanuel Macron has called his friend and ally U.S. President Donald Trump to say he's very anxious about tensions in the Middle East, after Trump's decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear accord.

Mr Zarif said on his first stop, China, that he hoped to secure a "clear future design" for the agreement.

But European diplomats briefed on the Brussels meeting acknowledged that the EU support, however honest, risked looking hollow after Trump last week reimposed an array of wide sanctions on the Islamic Republic that will hit European companies investing in Iran.

Among them is the possible use of an EU "blocking regulation" which would, in essence, ban European companies from respecting American sanctions where those sanctions might damage EU interests, notably trade and the movement of capital.

More news: Tiger Woods produces dazzling round to charge up Players Championship leaderboard
More news: Man City record will be tough to break-Guardiola
More news: Eurovision 2018 to focus on the music, not the glitz

While announcing his exit decision, Trump said the United States will impose "the highest level" of economic sanctions on Tehran, adding "any nation that helps Iran in its quest for nuclear weapons could also be strongly sanctioned by the United States".

Le Drian expressed France's "determination to fight" so that the USA decisions don't hurt those companies that have invested in Iran.

These questions get at the heart of whether the Iran nuclear deal can continue without the support of the US.

At the same time that the Trump administration is looking to torpedo one multilateral nuclear agreement, it is touting the possibility of setting up a new one with North Korea.

While announcing his decision, Trump called the agreement "defective at its core", claiming that after the lifting of the sanctions Tehran "used its new funds to build nuclear-capable missiles, support terrorism and cause havoc throughout the Middle East and beyond".

Top Iranian officials, including Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani, have said Europeans must give the required guarantees in order for Tehran to stay in the deal.