Iran's Zarif hails 'will to resist' U.S. pressure on nuclear deal

David Peterlin

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Trump pulled the United States out of the multinational deal under which sanctions on Iran were lifted in return for curbs on its nuclear program verified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif have discussed in Vienna the implementation of agreements in trade and economy, the Russian Foreign Ministry reported on Friday.

Talks to save the 2015 nuclear deal on Friday are unlikely to satisfy Iran, European powers said, and Tehran warned that it could leave the accord if it was not fully compensated for the re-imposition of USA sanctions.

During a telephone call with the French President, Emmanuel Macron, Mr Rohani stated that "Europe's proposed package to Iran for continued cooperation as part of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA - the official abbreviation of the agreement, editor's note) does not meet all of the demands of the Islamic Republic".

The statement sent a positive signal, while the meeting was shadowed by Iran's dissatisfaction with the European Union (EU)'s offer to secure its economic interests by anti-sanction measures. Washington has since told countries they must stop buying Iranian oil from November 4 or face financial measures.

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The meeting was chaired by EU High Representative Federica Mogherini and attended at the ministerial level by China, France, Germany, Russia, Britain and Iran.

"We expect Europe to offer a clear operational program with a specific timeframe in order to be able to compensate for the USA pullout from the Iran nuclear deal", Rouhani said.

In calls with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said since the USA withdrawal "Iran has been dealing with economic issues and problems in banking relations and oil" and that foreign companies were "skeptical" about continuing their business, Iran's semi-official Mehr news agency reported.

Iranians have complained that the hoped-for rise in foreign investment and trade after the deal has not materialised.

Maas told reporters that it's not possible to compensate all the losses of Iran because of the companies leaving Iran out of fear to lose the business with America.

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"The Iranians expect the others to say what we are going to do to keep the deal alive".

Since Trump's announcement, Iran's rial currency has fallen, prices have risen and the country has been hit by street protests and strikes.

Trump in May slammed the nuclear accord signed under his predecessor Barack Obama as "horrible" and "defective at its core", earning applause from Iran s regional rivals Saudi Arabia and Israel.

Six people were arrested in Belgium, France and Germany, while the opposition group blamed the Iranian regime for the alleged plot. Iran has said it had nothing to do with the plot and has demanded the official be released without delay.

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