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Rhetoric Over US Exit From Iran Deal Rises Amid Threat of Sanctions

Rhetoric Over US Exit From Iran Deal Rises Amid Threat of Sanctions

In recent months, US and European diplomats have agreed on ways to constrain Iran's missile program and discussed how to strengthen inspections of Iran's nuclear program.

President Donald Trump's long-anticipated decision to pull the USA out of the Iran nuclear deal and reimpose sanctions on the Islamic Republic will have a swift effect on some big companies.

Part of the flaw with the Iran deal that President Trump rejected was it enticed Europe and the United States into economic relations with Iran that would work against holding the country accountable for violations of the agreement, Bolton said.

"I think that will sink in; we'll see what happens then", Bolton said.

The meeting comes amid fears that European companies may face reprisals from the United States for breaching American sanctions by continuing to operate in Iran.

"(European) cooperation with Russian Federation, which until recently seemed impossible because of the Skripal (spy poisoning) case, with the expulsion of diplomats and the reduction of contact, is now receiving a fresh boost", consultant Andrei Baklitski of the PIR Center NGO said. "It depends on the conduct of other governments". Trump's decision could also have implications for the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project, which has so far probably not taken off due to fear of USA sanctions.

The 2015 agreement between major powers and Iran set limits on its nuclear activities in exchange for the lifting of sanctions.

"The talks with the Europeans, Iran and the other signatories to the agreement are therefore also about how it can be possible to continue trade with Iran", Maas said.

Following his meeting with Zarif on Sunday, China's foreign minister said Beijing will "work to maintain the [nuclear] deal", state news agency Xinhua reported.




"I heard one of the primary industry representatives postulating that it might mean, if nothing else, that it's more hard to increase exports to iran who, of course, used to be a much larger trading partner of New Zealand than they are even now", Mr Parker said.

So far, China, France, Russia, Britain, the European Union and Iran remain in the accord, which placed controls on Iran's nuclear program and led to a relaxation of USA economic sanctions against Iran and companies doing business there.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said before the meeting in Brussels that "the United Kingdom and our European partners continue to view the nuclear deal as vital for our shared security, and remain fully committed to upholding it".

Both Mr Le Maire and Germany's Finance Minister Olaf Scholz had spoken to their USA counterpart Steven Mnuchin, urging him to consider exemptions or delays for companies already present in the country.

The Foreign Secretary had said Britain continues to believe that the Iran nuclear deal "has value" as he arrived in Brussels for EU-hosted talks.

Trump's action has been met with dismay among America's allies in Europe and Asia and with scathing criticism and opprobrium in the USA political circles and the liberal press.

"The President of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran has been tasked with taking all necessary steps in preparation for Iran to pursue industrial-scale enrichment without any restrictions", Zarif said on Friday.

"I want to stress we are under no illusion about the stuff Iran gets up to in the region, in the Middle East".

During talks with the Chinese foreign minister, Zarif pointed to good relations between Tehran and Beijing after the JCPOA implementation started in 2016, saying, "We are confident that China will stand by Iran".


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