Lavrov calls situation on Iran deal a 'crisis'

Europe and Iran sought a united front on Tuesday to save the nuclear deal U.S. President Donald Trump abandoned last week, with Britain warning against regime change and Tehran expressing hope it could keep the economic benefits of the accord.

But European diplomats have sought to play down expectations of Tuesday's meeting, stressing the enormous challenge of finding a way around U.S. sanctions punishing foreign businesses trading with Iran, which have global reach.

Major European powers and Tehran committed Tuesday to keep working together to save the Iran nuclear deal despite U.S. President Donald Trump's determination to kill it off.

Mogherini agreed at the end of a long day of diplomatic meetings. It also points to a refusal to accept that Trump's decision on Iran, fulfilling a campaign pledge to USA voters, should be allowed to upend a global agreement negotiated over years and which worldwide observers say is working.

The move suggests that Beijing, unlike the European Union, is determined to maintain normal ties and trade with Iran, despite the U.S. urging foreign companies to wind down their operations in the region.

He also said that the European Union intends to comply with the terms of the nuclear agreement with Iran as long as it adheres to Tehran and despite the White house's decision to withdraw from the deal.

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. Ministers meet in June to review the policy. "There is no plan B", he said.

The question is whether the remaining signatories - the so-called EU-3, Russian Federation and China - can deliver the benefits of the accord, including access to global oil markets, trade and investment, that enticed the Iranians to join the agreement.

The foreign minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Javad Zarif has arrived in Brussels ahead of a meeting with his British, French and German counterparts.

In the CNN interview, Bolton did not respond directly when asked whether Trump might seek "regime change" in Iran, or whether the United States military would be ordered to make a preemptive strike against any Iranian nuclear facility.

"Why would any business, why would the shareholders of any business, want to do business with the world's central banker of worldwide terrorism?"

"One of the questions that we need to ask the Americans is whether their final objective is to make the Iranians yield on its nuclear programme or to get rid of the regime", said a senior French official, acknowledging that Paris was concerned by the ideological shift in Washington since John Bolton was appointed U.S. National Security Advisor.

Concern - and anger - is growing among European governments at the uncertainty facing companies with investments in Iran.

German exports to Iran totalled almost 3.0 billion euros in 2017, while French exports soared from 562 million euros in 2015 to 1.5 billion in 2017 and oil giant Total has pledged to invest some $5 billion in the South Pars gas field.

France as a "matter of principle" can't accept that "the US act like the world's economic policeman", Finance Minister Minister Bruno Le Maire told reporters on Friday.

The deal from the start never said hey, stop everything.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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