EU foreign ministers to meet in London to save Iran nuclear deal: report

Foreign ministers from the European Union (EU) members are expected to meet in London on Monday for a crisis meeting with Iran in order to save the Iran nuclear deal after US President Donald Trump pulled out of the nuclear agreement, the Guardian newspaper reported Thursday.

"Foreign ministers aim to reassure Tehran that the nuclear deal is salvageable at a meeting currently slated for Monday in London which they are expecting their Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif to attend," the newspaper said.

The meeting is being arranged at a time when Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Europe had a "very limited opportunity" to save the landmark deal.

EU ministers hope to put forward a credible package to soothe Iranian fears about the effect of Trump's decision on EU-Iranian trade, the newspaper said.

"The ministers recognise that Iran will only stay inside the deal if it is confident that the promised economic benefits can survive US sanctions," the newspaper said. "But they were keen to stress that Trump's move had not necessarily dealt the agreement a fatal blow."

A day after the United States broke with the 2015 agreement and warned he would seek to hit European businesses that continued to trade with Tehran, the EU vowed to take steps to immunise firms from any US sanctions.

In a phone call on Wednesday between French President Emmanuel Macron and Rouhani, Macron stressed his willingness "to continue enforcing the Iran nuclear agreement in all respects," the Elysee said in a statement.

The statement added that Macron had "underlined the importance that Iran do the same."

Also on Wednesday, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson pledged not to "walk away" from Iran nuclear deal, and demanded "concrete proposals" from Washington on how to now curtail Tehran's alleged nuclear weapons ambitions after the US president Donald Trump ditched the landmark agreement.

On Tuesday, Trump said that he withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which agreed to lift crippling economic sanctions on Iran in return for its agreement to limit its sensitive nuclear activities and allow international inspectors access to its facilities.

Speaking at the House of the Commons, Johnson said, "The JCPOA is an international agreement painstakingly negotiated over 13 years under both Republican and Democratic institutions and enshrined in UN resolution 2231."

"Britain has no intention of walking away," he said.

The JCPOA is an international agreement reached in Vienna on July 14, 2015 between Iran, the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council -- China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States -- plus Germany), and the European Union.

Britain would remain "a party" to the JCPOA as long as Iran complied with it, Johnson added.

Britain, France and Germany on Tuesday pledged to remain in the Iranian nuclear deal despite Trump's decision to pull America out of the agreement.

In a joint statement, the three countries expressed "regret and concern" over the decision and urged Iran to "show restraint" in its response.

Meanwhile, Rouhani said that his country would remain in the deal as discussions with allies take place over the next "few weeks."






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