Zarif says JCPOA survival depends on EU

Sergei Savostyanov  TASS

Sergei Savostyanov TASS

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif set off on a tour of European countries on Saturday as Iran's government attempts to save the multinational Iran nuclear agreement that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump issues disaster declaration for Hawaii volcano damage Giuliani biographer: He's "a drama machine" Trump attacks media after reports of Cohen deal with AT&T MORE pulled out of this week.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the USA still wanted to work with the Europeans on a new deal.

"If at the end of this short period we conclude that we can fully benefit from the nuclear accord. the deal would remain", he said.

Russian Federation also criticised Trump's decision, with Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov alleging the move was "protectionism in disguise", in comments made on Thursday to state news agency TASS.

Zarif will later fly to Moscow and Brussels to consult the remaining signatories to the 2015 agreement denounced by US President Donald Trump.

Before leaving, Zarif published a government statement on his Twitter page, slamming Trump's "extremist administration" for abandoning "an accord recognized as a victory of diplomacy by the global community".

"We are willing to maintain communication with Iran and other relevant parties", he said.

"Since the signing of the JCPOA (nuclear deal), we have gone from an atmosphere like a gold rush, to one of utter depression", said a Western trade diplomat on condition of anonymity.

"Iran's Military Budget is up more than 40 percent since the Obama negotiated Nuclear Deal was reached. just another indicator that it was all a big lie", he wrote.

Trump also said he would reinstate United States nuclear sanctions on Iran and impose "the highest level" of economic bans on the Islamic Republic.

Add that trump intends to immediately impose sanctions against any foreign companies that will do business with Iran.

Iranian hardliners - who have long opposed President Hassan Rouhani's moves to improve ties with the West - are already mobilising against the efforts to save the nuclear deal.

Under the deal signed in Vienna with six world powers - the US, UK, France, Germany, Russia, China and the European Union - Iran scaled back its uranium enrichment programme and promised not to pursue nuclear weapons in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.

Shortly after Trump's announcement about the USA withdrawal from the JCPOA, President Hassan Rouhani said Tehran would stay in the deal with other signatories if its interests are guaranteed.

"China and Iran have comprehensive strategic partnership and are trade partners and these relations still continue", he noted.

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