Iran's Foreign Minister in China to rescue nuclear deal

Bruno Le Maire France’s economy minister slammed Trump for withdrawing the U.S. from the deal | Brendan Smialowski  AFP via Getty Images

The other signees had urged Washington to remain in the deal.

Before leaving Tehran, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini in a telephone conversation discussed the fate of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) after the United States pullout, according to Fars.

"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, using the results of the latest research and development of Iran's courageous nuclear scientists", the statement said.

National security adviser John Bolton said Sunday he believes European nations will ultimately join the US and leave the Iran nuclear agreement. France's Foreign Ministry, in addition, vowed that Europe would fight new USA anti-Iranian sanctions.

JCPOA was implemented in 2016 after five permanent members of UN Security Council, China, France, Russia, United Kingdom and US plus Germany reached an agreement with Rouhani's government to lift global sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic in exchange for Tehran to curb its nuclear program.

The countries that continue to deal with Iran could face sanctions. Citing data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, the newspaper explained that Iranian military spending has increased by only about 30 percent from 2015, the year the Iran deal was reached, to last year. It also disconnected and scaled back its facilities for producing nuclear fuel through a process called uranium enrichment.

Iran has claimed its nuclear program is for civilian purposes and denies supporting extremists in the region.

European leaders have vowed they won't be dictated to by Donald Trump as they scrambled to save the Iran nuclear deal thrown into doubt by the US President.

"It's reminiscent of the saying attributed to Vladimir Lenin that the capitalists will sell us the rope with which we'll hang them", he said. "They moved very quickly when it was time to implement the deal and they can move very quickly if they decide to undo it".

"The prime minister raised the potential impact of USA sanctions on those firms which are now conducting business in Iran", her spokeswoman said. "That means, it is concretely about damage limitation" and offering legal advice, he said. However polite his conversations with the Europeans, they said, he did not seek an extension to save the deal, since the outcome was clear last week.

"If the regime continues its nuclear aspirations, it will have bigger problems than it has ever had before", President Trump said on May 9.

Each company and bank will have to decide whether to risk being cut off from the USA financial system. The announcement triggered US plans to reimpose sanctions on the Islamic Republic within roughly three to six months.



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