U.S. Excluded from Iran Nuclear Deal Summit in Vienna

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Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Friday that the ministerial meeting of the remaining parties to the worldwide 2015 nuclear deal was "constructive".

"The two ministers discussed bilateral cooperation issues with particular emphasis on the implementation of the top-level agreements on intensifying trade and economic cooperation", the ministry noted following the two top diplomats' meeting on the sidelines of a meeting of the parties to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

He wanted Friday's meeting in Vienna of the foreign affairs ministers of the five countries committed to the agreement (Germany, China, France, United Kingdom and Russia), with their Iranian counterpart, to "enable the fulfilment of all of the Iranian demands for [Iran's] continued cooperation as part of the agreement".

"They (Iran) must stop threatening to break their commitments to the nuclear deal", Jean-Yves Le Drian said.

Trump pulled the United States out of the multinational deal under which sanctions on Iran were lifted in return for curbs on its nuclear program verified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The European Union has already taken steps to shield European companies from USA sanctions, and it promises limited financial compensation to companies that are hit by the US measures.

The meeting on Friday confirmed that with the United States withdrawal from the deal, Britain would take over of the function of co-chair, together with China, of the Arak research reactor working group.

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Any confirmation that Iranian authorities were behind the plot could make it politically hard for European leaders to continue to back the nuclear deal.

But the challenges ahead are still tough as the European Union has not yet found a ideal path to compensate Iran's most losses under the USA sanctions.

Foreign ministers from the remaining signatories met in Vienna today to work around continuing U.S. efforts to kill the deal, but U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, was missing.

Maas called the European offer "attractive" but conceded that "we won't be able to compensate for all the effects of enterprises withdrawing from Iran because they see their American business interests threatened by the sanctions".

Iran, however, showed its will to cooperate with the stake holders in the meeting, as Iran's Foreign Minster Javad Zarif said "all committed to ensure Iran's benefits: USA isolated", noting sides are moving the right direction on concrete steps for timely implementation of commitments.

The historic JCPOA was reached in July 2015 after months of tough multilateral diplomatic talks, aiming to protect the nuclear non-proliferation regime and meanwhile stabilize the Middle East situation.