European Union top diplomats agree to follow through Iran nuclear deal

European Union top diplomats agree to follow through Iran nuclear deal

European Union top diplomats agree to follow through Iran nuclear deal

While the focus of Tuesday's talks was on salvaging the nuclear deal, European Union diplomats said they needed some time to clarify the USA policy on sanctions, but also generally towards Iran.

"They think they can make the Iranian nation surrender by putting pressures on Iran, by sanctions and even threats of war", Rouhani said of renewed USA sanctions recently imposed on Iran's central bank, according to the ISNA news agency.

Iran's FM Mohammad Javad Zarif (2nd R), France's FM Jean-Yves Le Drian (2nd L), Germany FM Heiko Maas (R), EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini and Britain's Foreign Secretary arrive for a meeting of EU/E3 with Iran in Brussels on May 15, 2018.

She told reporters it was a positive meeting.

"I want to stress we are under no illusion about the stuff Iran gets up to in the region, in the Middle East".

Iran's main oil clients in Europe are Italy, France, Greece, Spain, Poland and Turkey.

"We are facing a very complicated issue where even if Europeans consider that the deal continues to work, the companies that would want to protect themselves would have to cut all their ties with the USA", she said.

"So we will be looking at a package of measures that we may be able to devise as Europeans to encourage the Iranians to stay in the deal".

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Bolton in the past has suggested the USA government should push for a change in government in Iran.

Iran is scrambling to salvage the deal after US President Donald Trump announced last week that his country will be withdrawing from it and reimposing sanctions against Tehran.

As Javier Blas, a chief energy correspondent at Bloomberg News, noted in his tweet, "France is floating European financing tools to bypass USA sanctions on Iran (including ideas to use the European Investment Bank, the European Central Bank or ad-hoc instruments to trade)".

Mogherini acknowledged the enormous challenge of finding a way around U.S. sanctions punishing businesses trading with Iran.

"The combined effects of the congressionally imposed sanctions from 2011-12 have significant consequences on the Iranian economy, which is part of what forced them to the table", said Jamil Jaffer, an adjunct professor of national security law at George Mason University.

Arriving earlier on Tuesday in the Belgian capital, Johnson said: 'We think it (the JCPOA) has value, we continue to believe in it even though America has chose to walk away. This would keep the United States as the focus of worldwide blame, maintain numerous benefits Iran is getting from economic cooperation with Europe and others, and avoid a crisis that could lead to military conflict. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, not Rouhani, has the last say on all state matters.

But any attempt to skirt Iran sanctions could spur the Trump administration to target European firms for exclusion from the USA financial system - a move with severe consequences.

"Let's not fool ourselves that there are dozens of things we can do", said a senior European diplomat.

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