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UK, French and German foreign ministers to discuss Iran nuclear deal

16 May 2018

Iran and the European Union will hold a ministerial meeting in Brussels next week following the US pullout from an worldwide deal on Tehran's nuclear development, a senior Iranian diplomat told Kyodo News on Thursday.

Al-Bilad Islamic Bank and its CEO and chairman, Aras Habib, were also hit with US sanctions, as was Muhammad Qasir, who the Treasury said is a Hezbollah official who has been a "critical conduit" for transferring funds to Hezbollah from the Revolutionary Guards. "Obviously, a blow to Iran always mean a blow to Beijing, because the two are close economic partners. The US has systematically forced Iran to turn more towards Russian Federation and China".

If the United States continues to threaten fines against companies for violating the sanctions, France's Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on May 10 that European Union states would propose sanctions-blocking measures to the European Commission to protect their companies.

Having learned nothing from the past, Chancellor Merkel wants to contain Iranian regime's triumphalist ambitions through the defunct policy of appeasement.

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The Western trade diplomat gave the example of Iran's recent restrictions on transferring funds to the European Union - an effort to control the rapid slide of the rial - that caused huge problems for importers. "It is possible", he said, when asked whether Washington was prepared to impose sanctions on European companies.

Zarif reportedly arrived in Moscow after he visited China as part of a diplomatic tour for talks on the Iran nuclear deal. China is one of the P5+1 signatories of the deal. Scott Pruit, Trump's head of the Environmental Protection Agency, announced in March 2018 that Obama-era vehicle emissions standards would be rolled back.

During the call, Rouhani said the United States decision to withdraw from the deal was "unlawful" and "irresponsible". "We will continue with our normal and transparent practical cooperation with Iran on the basis of not violating our worldwide obligations".

Iranian media outlets say Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will visit Russian Federation and China before Tuesday's meeting. "It's a UN Security Council Resolution and it belongs to the entire world".

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France still hopes for a wider settlement that will cover Iran's activities across the Middle East, and warned Tehran on Thursday "against any temptation for regional dominance".

We will make it clear to Zarif "that we stand by the agreements and also expect Iran to abide by them", said German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas.

On the other hand, "China persuades Iran to stick to a peaceful solution while communicating with the worldwide community, to make it feel that Iran's desire to promote regional peace and its adherence to provisions of the Iranian nuclear agreement are honest", the academic remarked.

The EU's energy commissioner is also traveling this week to Iran to discuss strengthening European energy support to Iran. As a result of that assessment, it was concluded that any payload option other than nuclear which could also be expected to have an airburst option (such as chemical weapons) could be ruled out.

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UK, French and German foreign ministers to discuss Iran nuclear deal