With US out, those backing Iran nuclear deal meet in Vienna

David Peterlin

On Friday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov and discussed the the issues expected to be raised in the meeting in coming hours, reports IRNA.

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

But in a setback on the eve of the talks, Iran s President Hassan Rouhani told French President Emmanuel Macron that European economic measures now on offer did not go far enough.

Since Trump's shock move in May, Washington has warned other countries to end business in Iran and stop buying its oil from early November or face punitive measures.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Thursday that the proposal package offered by the European Union does not secure Iran's interests in the nuclear deal, noting Tehran would stick to the deal only if Iran's interests are secured by the stake holders, as the United States is re-imposing tough sanctions on Iran.

"All the members, even the three allies, have committed and have the political will to take action and resist the United States", Iran's Foreign Minister Zarif told a Vienna news conference broadcast by the Fars news agency.

"We all know that we want to stay in the nuclear deal, and we believe that we should keep talks in a quite atmosphere", she said.

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Trump also said he would reinstate USA nuclear sanctions on Iran and impose "the highest level" of economic bans on the Islamic Republic.

In calls with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said since the United States withdrawal "Iran has been dealing with economic issues and problems in banking relations and oil" and that foreign companies were "skeptical" about continuing their business, Iran's semi-official Mehr news agency reported.

Iranians have complained that the hoped-for rise in foreign investment and trade after the deal has not materialized.

However, U.S. President Donald Trump decided on May 8 to quit the nuclear deal and vowed to re-impose sanctions, including oil embargo, on Tehran.

Since Trump's announcement, Iran's rial currency has fallen, prices have risen and the country has been hit by street protests and strikes.

The new round of diplomacy has been clouded after security services said they had foiled an alleged plot to bomb a Paris rally by an exiled Iranian opposition group, the People s Mujahedeen of Iran.

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

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