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Iran FM on Diplomatic Tour to Parties of 2015 Nuclear Deal

Sunday 13 May 2018
Iran FM on Diplomatic Tour to Parties of 2015 Nuclear Deal

Alwaght- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif departed on a diplomatic tour early Sunday to weigh world leader's ability to guarantee the Islamic Republic's interests if it remains in a nuclear deal after US withdrawal.

Iranian top diplomat departed for China before heading to Russia and Belgium to hold meetings with the European parties to the 2015 nuclear deal, i.e. Britain, France, and Germany.

The trips come less than a week after President Donald Trump announced that the US was walking away from Iran deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which he described a horrible deal.

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

Iran has said it would remain in the JCPOA for now, pending negotiations with the other signatories in the coming weeks before making a final decision on its future role in the agreement.

Zarif began the tour on President Hassan Rouhani's order to sound out Europe and other parties to the JCPOA about the possibility of keeping the deal in place. Iran wants the Europeans and others to give it clear-cut guarantees about fulfilling their obligations if Tehran remains in the deal.  

In Brussels, Zarif will attend a meeting with his French, German and British counterparts as well as EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini.

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

It reiterated that Iran was preparing to resume "industrial-scale" uranium enrichment "without any restrictions" unless Europe provided solid guarantees that it could maintain trade ties despite renewed US sanctions.

While the remaining JCPOA parties are scrambling to save the deal, Israel has played a second fiddle to the US bid to wreck it.

Israeli warplanes hit dozens of military targets in Syria early Thursday, claiming that they were in response to an Iranian rocket attack from the Syrian territory.

Syrian officials rejected the Israeli claim that the assault had been directed at Iranian infrastructure. "Israel’s claim that it had targeted Iranian assets in Syria has no substance," Syrian Ambassador to China Imad Moustapha said on Friday.

Iranian officials traditionally do not respond to Israeli claims, saying they do not merit an answer.

Political observers point to the timing of the Israeli attack which came right after Trump's withdrawal from the JCPOA, saying it was aimed at complicating the diplomatic push to keep the nuclear deal in one piece.

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Iran Deal Zarif Trump

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