Iran talks aim to save nuclear deal after USA pullout

Arturo Kim
July 9, 2018

Foreign ministers of China, Russia, France, Britain, Germany and Iran attend a meeting to discuss how to save the Iran nuclear deal following the USA withdrawal, in Vienna, Austria, July 6, 2018.

The foreign companies which do business with Tehran could face sanctions by the United States, making the investors reluctant to follow EU's suggestions to keep their business ties with Tehran.

Foreign ministers from the five remaining signatories will discuss the European proposal with Iranian officials in Vienna on Friday. Washington has since told countries they must stop buying Iranian oil from November 4 or face financial measures.

They said they remained committed to the accord and to building up trade and investment links with Iran, including "the continuation of Iran's export of oil and gas" and other energy products.

While talks are expected to focus purely on the nuclear deal, they come amid increasing rhetoric from the Trump administration, which argues that Iran poses a serious security threat.

"After the withdrawal of the United States, which we can't understand, we face a hard situation", he added, but he stressed that "we want to make clear to Iran that it will still gain economic benefits through this agreement".

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"If anything, they are driving prices higher as the United States defends many of their members for very little $'s". However, the Chinese government has not yet specified a date on which it may introduce duties on imports of US crude.


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Rouhani was quoted by state media and on his website after calls with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel as having told them he was disappointed with their package which did not go far enough. Several major firms - including France's Total and Peugeot, and Russia's Lukoil - have said they are preparing to leave.

"If the process of the European foreign ministers' meeting in Vienna, which is aimed at encouraging Iran to cooperate, is promising, we will continue our cooperation", he said. The rial currency has fallen, prices have risen and the country has been hit by street protests and strikes. Modernization of the Arak heavy water reactor is seen as a key issue in the Iran nuclear deal, as the reactor could potentially produce the nuclear fuel for a warhead.

US-Iran relations have been hostile since the 1979 overthrow of the US-backed shah and the US embassy hostage crisis. The demands have been rejected by Iran.

Six people were arrested - a diplomat attached to the Iranian embassy in Austria - in Belgium, France and Germany, while the opposition group blamed the Iranian regime for the alleged plot. Iran has said it had nothing to do with the plot and has demanded the official be released without delay.

Tehran dismissed it is an orchestrated "false flag ploy", created to discredit Iran and overshadow Rouhani's trip to Europe.

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