Iranian FM Zarif In Moscow To Meet Lavrov On Nuclear Deal

Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov

Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has begun a diplomatic tour to seek assurances that signatories to a landmark nuclear deal will back it despite its abandonment by the US.

On may 8 the President of the United States Donald trump announced the withdrawal from the agreement on Iran's nuclear program and has announced new sanctions against the Iranian regime.

European countries have 60 days to provide "guarantees" to safeguard Iran's interests, after the United States withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal, Tehran's parliament's website said quoting an Iranian official.

Following his visit to Moscow, the Iranian top diplomat will travel to Brussels to meet with EU's foreign ministry chief Federica Mogherini as well as the E3 foreign ministers at the EU Headquarters.

The deal focused on limiting and monitoring Iran's production of nuclear fuel, a key ingredient for producing such weapons.

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"The JCPOA corresponds to the balance of commitments between the Iranian side and Europe and, in particular, the United States, and of course this balance has been undermined after the U.S. withdrawal", Zarif said.

Zarif is expected to leave Tehran for Beijing on Sunday and then head to Moscow on Monday.

The Iranian Foreign Minister will next visit Russian Federation and some European countries. "We are ready for all options".

Following talks with British counterpart Boris Johnson, Le Drian also spoke about the 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and the 5+1 group (China, the US, France, Britain, Russia and Germany).

"The Europeans have repeated on several occasions that they will not be able to resist United States sanctions".

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In a telephone call with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday, Rouhani had demanded that the three European powers announce their "clear and honest" stance on the nuclear deal and provide guarantees in wake of the USA withdrawal.

The countries sought to strengthen their business ties long before the 2015 agreement, despite worldwide sanctions in place.

The trip is carried on in line with the President Hassan Rouhani's directive for intensive talks on the possibility of preserving the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA aka nuclear deal) while the Iranian nation's interests are guaranteed.

China was closely involved in negotiating the agreement as one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and has always been a close Iranian economic partner, buying about a third of Iran's oil shipments.

The White House said on Wednesday that Trump was preparing to impose new sanctions on Tehran, perhaps as early as next week, but gave no details.

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