Iran, China agree to maintain nuclear deal

Iran, China agree to maintain nuclear deal

Kerry Wise
May 15, 2018

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif on Monday discussed the future of Iran nuclear deal after the USA withdrawal.

In the aftermath of Washington's pullout, Europeans are seeking ways to protect the interests of their firms doing business in Iran and help them escape the brunt of the upcoming U.S. sanctions.

To suggest that somehow the withdrawal from the JCPOA is driving the Iranian conduct that has taken place during the JCPOA in Yemen, the rise in Hezbollah, all of those things took place during the JCPOA.

Earlier on Sunday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Iran would remain committed to the deal "if the remaining five countries abide by the agreement". After years of crippling economic sanctions, the deal opened Iran to business with the U.S. and Europe, and companies around the world began doing business in Iran.

Iran has pledged to restart its program to enrich uranium if the deal collapses.

Following talks with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, Mr Zarid said: "We hope that with this visit to China and other countries we will be able to construct a clear future design for the comprehensive agreement".

He will later head to Moscow and Brussels.

While both Saudi Arabia and Israel have welcomed Trump's decision to come out of the deal, the European powers issued a statement expressing "regret and concern" over the development and their "continuing commitment" to the deal overseen by them.

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.

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On Sunday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington still wants to work with Europe to counter Iran's "malign behaviour" and was working hard to thrash out a more wide-ranging deal with its European partners.

However, Washington's decision to pull out of the global nuclear deal and its threat to reimpose sanctions on firms doing business in Iran has cast fresh doubt over this new trade.

We all share the common objective of making sure that Iran never gets nuclear weapons, are anxious about their terribly destabilising and threatening military behaviour across the region and their ballistic missile program.

Meanwhile, Lavrov said that Russian Federation and Europe had a duty to "jointly defend their legal interests" in terms of the Iran deal.

The EU's energy commissioner is also traveling this week to Iran to discuss strengthening European energy support to Iran.

Earlier Tuesday, Zarif said he had a "very good and constructive" meeting with European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, who helps to supervise the U.N. Security Council-endorsed agreement.

"It's reminiscent of the saying attributed to Vladimir Lenin that the capitalists will sell us the rope with which we'll hang them", he said.

Bolton expressed optimism that European allies will follow Trump's lead and exit the deal, despite the assertions of the leaders of France, the United Kingdom, and Germany that they intend to remain in the agreement.