Iran and world powers meet as they struggle to save nuclear deal

Iran and world powers meet as they struggle to save nuclear deal

Trump pulled the United States out of the multinational deal under which sanctions on Iran were lifted in return for curbs on its nuclear programme verified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Foreign ministers from Britain, China, France, Germany and Russian Federation meet with their Iranian counterpart in Vienna for the first time since Trump left the pact, but diplomats see limited scope for salvaging it.

Rouhani said Tehran was hopeful that the issue could be addressed when foreign ministers from the five remaining signatories of the nuclear deal meet Iranian officials in Vienna on Friday.

But in a setback on the eve of the talks, Iran s President Hassan Rouhani told French President Emmanuel Macron that European economic measures now on offer did not go far enough. Washington has since told countries they must stop buying the Opec producer's oil from November 4 or face financial consequences.

The meeting was chaired by EU High Representative Federica Mogherini and attended at the ministerial level by China, France, Germany, Russia, Britain and Iran.

The Vienna meeting of foreign ministers will discuss the European offer that aims to persuade Iran to stick with the 2015 deal, a European diplomat said without specifying the measures.

"We all know that we want to stay in the nuclear deal, and we believe that we should keep talks in a quite atmosphere", she 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.

Foreign ministers from the remaining signatories met in Vienna today to work around continuing U.S. efforts to kill the deal, but U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, was missing.

Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called on world powers who are still committed to the nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic to make verifiable and actionable commitments to save the accord reached in 2015. "We expect a clear action plan from Europe with a timetable so it can compensate for the USA exit from the deal".

Trump in May slammed the nuclear accord signed under his predecessor Barack Obama as "horrible" and "defective at its core", earning applause from Iran s regional rivals Saudi Arabia and Israel.

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 stop supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

An Austria-based Iranian diplomat was among four people arrested on suspicion of plotting an attack on an Iranian opposition group in France last week.

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