Iran Launches Diplomatic Effort on Nuclear Deal after US Withdrawal

CAPITALS — Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has begun a diplomatic tour to seek assurances that signatories to a landmark nuclear deal will back it despite its abandonment by the US.

Mr Zarif said on his first stop, China, that he hoped to secure a “clear future design” for the agreement.

The US will re-impose sanctions on Iran and firms dealing with it could be hit, angering signatories like France.

President Hassan Rouhani said he hoped Iran could stay in the agreement.

“If the remaining five countries continue to abide by the agreement, Iran will remain in the deal despite the will of America,” he said.

The 2015 agreement sought to curb Iran’s nuclear programme in return for the lifting of economic sanctions.

After meeting his counterpart in Beijing, Mr Zarif said: “We hope that with this visit to China and other countries we will be able to construct a clear future design for the comprehensive agreement.”

But he added: “If the nuclear deal is to continue, the interests of the people of Iran must be assured.”

He will later head to Moscow and Brussels.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May has had telephone talks with Mr Rouhani on a range of issues, a Downing Street spokesman said, reiterating to him that the UK and its European partners remained committed to the Iran nuclear deal.

According to Rouhani, “She said it is in both the UK and Iran’s national security interests to maintain the deal and welcomed President Rouhani’s public commitment to abide by its terms.”

“It is essential that Iran continues to meet its obligations.”

The British prime minister also raised the cases of the dual nationals being held in Iran, urging Hassan Rouhani to make further progress over the release of British-Iranians “on humanitarian grounds”.


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