World powers seek to keep Iran in nuclear accord after USA pullout

GETTYPresident Hassan Rouhani warned Iran could soon halt exports of oil to neighbouring countries

GETTYPresident Hassan Rouhani warned Iran could soon halt exports of oil to neighbouring countries

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).

Three European nations along with Russian Federation and China vowed at the meeting to keep the energy exporter plugged into the global economy despite the USA withdrawal and threat of renewed sanctions, including on Iran's key crude oil exports.

However, hopes of success were clouded after Iran's President Hassan Rouhani told French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday that the European economic measures on the table did not go far enough.

Foreign ministers from the five remaining signatories will discuss the European proposal with Iranian officials in Vienna on Friday.

"We advise businesses that want to keep investing (in Iran), we want to keep payment systems open, and we want to build security through widening the mandate of the European Investment Bank", he said.

Describing the Friday meeting as important, Iranian officials have said that key for them is to ensure measures that guarantee oil exports do not halt, and that Tehran still has access to the SWIFT global bank payments messaging system.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Thursday that the proposal package offered by the European Union does not secure Iran's interests in the nuclear deal, noting Tehran would stick to the deal only if Iran's interests are secured by the stake holders, as the United States is re-imposing tough sanctions on Iran.

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Iran has been committed to its obligations under the deal, he stressed.

In the joint statement, Zarif and other top diplomats reconfirmed their commitment to the deal and its "economic dividends" for Iran, which has suffered worsening financial turbulence since Trump abandoned the accord.

The foreign ministers' meeting on the Iran nuclear issue on Friday would send a clear signal of solidarity to maintain and implement the Iran nuclear deal reached between Iran and world powers in 2015, according to Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

Washington considers Iran a state sponsor of terrorism, with links to Lebanon s Hezbollah, Hamas in the Palestinian territories and networks in Iraq and Yemen, and demands it cease support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

"We are trying to do it (economic package) before sanctions are imposed at the start of August and then the next set of sanctions in November".

Six people were arrested - a diplomat attached to the Iranian embassy in Austria - in Belgium, France and Germany, while the opposition group blamed the Iranian regime for the alleged plot.

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