E3 meet Iran to save nuclear deal

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif described a “very good and constructive” meeting with the UK, France, Germany and the EU as they to try to rescue the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal.

EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini said that the nuclear deal was “in intensive care” in the wake of US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the US from the agreement last week. She emphasised that there was “serious, determined, immediate work from the European side” to prevent the collapse of the JCPOA.

Zarif said he believed both sides are “on the right track” to make sure that the interests of the deal’s “remaining participants, particularly Iran, will be preserved and guaranteed”.

UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson yesterday reiterated that Britain and its European partners “continue to view the nuclear deal as vital for our shared security, and remain fully committed to upholding it”. Germany’s Foreign Minister said he wanted to “make sure that in Iran the deal can still be supported”.

Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation, told Iranian state TV yesterday that it was down to the deal’s European signatories to find a way to make up for the US withdrawal. “If they cannot do that, we are ready to take our nuclear programme to a level stronger than before the JCPOA,” he warned.