Iran hails 'constructive meeting' with EU on nuclear deal

A man looks out from an Israeli position in the Golan Heights

A man looks out from an Israeli position in the Golan Heights

Bolton was tapped by President Donald Trump in March to replace H.R. McMaster and is considered a hard-liner on many worldwide matters, including Iran.

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif attends a meeting with European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini at the EU Council in Brussels, Belgium, on May 15, 2018. "We are talking about solutions to keep the deal alive".

Germany acknowledged it could be hard to protect companies doing business with Iran as a senior US official renewed a threat of sanctions against European firms following Washington's decision to pull out of a nuclear deal with Tehran.

The move by Trump dismayed key European allies, who had spent months urging Trump not to walk away from the agreement.

The 2015 agreement between major powers and Iran set limits on its nuclear activities in exchange for the lifting of sanctions. But Trump has described it as a "terrible deal".

Zarif's diplomatic tour took him to Beijing at the weekend and will see him visit Brussels later in the week, as the worldwide backers of the 2015 accord scrabble to save it.

Trump directed his administration to "immediately begin the process of re-imposing sanctions" related to the deal, a White House statement said.

The discussion will focus on, among others, how to maintain economic relations and effective banking transactions with Iran in the context of renewed U.S sanctions, according to Mogherini.

"I think that we need more discussion at a higher level with Iran", Paul said on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer". Mogherini said she will brief the leaders on the latest developments.

Zarif also called the USA decision to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem as "dangerous".

As Iran's largest trade partner, China's imports increased by 25.2 percent to US$18.85bn previous year, while exports to Tehran also rose by 21 percent.

Bolton said on ABC's "This Week". The minister said he wanted France, Germany and Britain to reach out to the US administration and ask for "exemptions, additional deadlines, or to respect the contracts that have been agreed in good faith by our businesses in Iran". For European companies it will be hard to trade with Teheran, since Washington will not allow the use of the dollar and patents for production.

Trump's decision on Tuesday to renege on the 2015 nuclear accord with Iran and reimpose sanctions against Tehran came with the threat of penalties against any foreign firms involved in business there.

Altmaier said there was a deadline of up to 90 days for foreign firms to comply with US sanctions or face penalties. If the latter happens, Iran's nuclear progress could lead to a combined bombing campaign by USA and Israel. Among the adversely affected are European firms, whose dealings with Iran jacked up the value of EU-Iran trade from $9.2 billion in 2015 to $25 billion in 2017.

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.

In the past week, it has slapped a new series of sanctions against Iran.

Iranian officials have said they hope Europe will work with them to preserve the deal.

France, as a "matter of principle", can not accept that "the U.S. act like the world's economic policeman", Finance Minister Minister Bruno Le Maire told reporters last Friday. He said Europe "is not capable of reacting to those extraterritorial measures".

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