Europe seeking quick solution to save Iran nuclear deal: Mogherini

Europe seeking quick solution to save Iran nuclear deal: Mogherini

Europe seeking quick solution to save Iran nuclear deal: Mogherini

"We appreciate the opportunity to meet in Moscow and exchange views on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), around which, to put it bluntly, the crisis situation has developed", Lavrov said while opening the meeting with Zarif.

The Iranian foreign minister's conversation with Asselborn came as the former is visiting Brussels to attend a trilateral meeting with his French, British, and German counterparts as well as the European Union foreign policy chief on the fate of the Iran nuclear deal.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson was not optimistic about the chances of avoiding US sanctions on Iran that could be used to penalize European companies that continue to do business with Tehran.

He will also meet with the foreign ministers of Germany, France and the United Kingdom in Brussels on Tuesday to discuss the future of the deal.

US President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that the United States was withdrawing from a 2015 deal negotiated by the Obama administration. "I believe it's a good start", he added.

According to Zarif, the goal of his trip is to get guarantees from the other participants of the nuclear deal that the interests of Iran will be protected.

On Wednesday, the European Commission will meanwhile discuss the EU's 1990s-era blocking sanctions, Mogherini said.

Perry Cammack, of the Carnegie Middle East foundation, said "The primary target of U.S. secondary sanctions is not Iran itself but foreign financial institutions that trade with it". "We simply committed to fully comply with all the commitments taken there, which means for the Iranian side the nuclear-related commitments, and from our side and from the side of the rest of the worldwide community, in particular the commitments related to the economic benefits the Iranian people need to see as an outcome of their own implementation of the Iran deal".

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.

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Merkel said in a speech to a labor union congress in Berlin that President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the 2015 agreement marked "a shift in German-American, in European-American relations".

Iran has described the sanctions as illegal and has warned that if talks to rescue the accord fail, it would ramp up its nuclear program to a level more advanced than before.

The U.S. Treasury announced on Tuesday more sanctions on officials of the Iranian central bank, including Governor Valiollah Seif, for allegedly moving millions of dollars on behalf of the country's Revolutionary Guards Corps to Lebanon's Shi'ite Hezbollah group.

The deal between Iran and six world powers lifted most global sanctions in 2016 in return for Tehran curbing its nuclear programme, under strict surveillance by the United Nations nuclear watchdog, to stockpile enriched uranium for an atomic bomb.

At the weekend, EU Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete is due to visit Tehran to discuss energy cooperation between Iran and the bloc.

"I want to stress we are under no illusion about the stuff Iran gets up to in the region, in the Middle East".

German exports to Iran totalled almost €3bn (£2.6bn) in 2017, while French exports soared from €562m in 2015 to €1.5bn in 2017.

"We have to be realistic about the electrified rail, the live wire of American extra-territoriality and how that can serve as a deterrent to business", said British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.

However, on Tuesday the U.S. hit Iran's central bank governor with sanctions.

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