Iran diplomat visits China for talks on nuclear deal crisis

Randal Sanchez
May 15, 2018

Iran's foreign minister says talks with the EU's foreign policy chief in Brussels were "constructive".

According to the semi-official ISNA news agency, Iranian Foreign Minister said in Beijing that he will discuss Iran's decision to stay in deal with Chinese counterpart Wang Yi. But last week US President Donald Trump announced he was leaving the deal and reimposing sanctions.

So far, China, France, Russia, Britain, the European Union and Iran remain in the accord, which placed controls on Iran's nuclear program and led to a relaxation of United States economic sanctions against Iran and companies doing business there.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), known as the deal on Iran's nuclear program, was signed between Iran and six worldwide mediators (the United Kingdom, Germany, China, Russia, the United States, and France) on July 14, 2015.

"[But] if the nuclear deal is to continue, the interests of the people of Iran must be assured".

Part of the flaw with the Iran deal that President Trump rejected was it enticed Europe and the USA into economic relations with Iran that would work against holding the country accountable for violations of the agreement, Bolton said.

"I hope and believe that these visits to multiple countries will improve countries', including China's, understanding of Iran's position", Wang said.

Iran's talks with European countries to save the nuclear deal are on the right path despite the United States withdrawal, its foreign minister said after meeting the European Union's foreign policy chief on Tuesday.

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China's Foreign Ministry and state media said Javad Zarif was visiting Beijing on Sunday at the head of a large political and economic delegation to "exchange views with relevant parties on the developments of the Iranian nuclear issue".

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. If the U.S. punishes European companies for doing business with Iran, foreign companies will likely walk away from Iran.

The White House also has bluntly warned Iran of unspecified consequences should it resume nuclear activities prohibited under the agreement.

European Union leaders aim to show a united front on preserving the Iran deal when they meet for a pre-summit dinner in Sofia on Wednesday, officials said.

"The Europeans have between 45 and 60 days to give the necessary guarantees to safeguard Iranian interests and compensate the damages caused by the USA pullout", Icana.ir reported.

The Trump administration portrayed its rejection of the nuclear agreement as a response, in part, to Tehran's interventions in the Middle East, underpinning Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's tough line towards Iran. He will also have similar discussions with France, Germany and Britain on Tuesday.

But European diplomats were despondent.

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