Published: Mon, July 09, 2018
Global Media | By Jackie Banks

Rouhani threatens to quit nuke deal if interests not secured

Rouhani threatens to quit nuke deal if interests not secured

Until last month, Tehran has been cooperating with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) under the deal, but the Iranian president said Iran would decide the level of cooperation with the United Nations nuclear watchdog.

Ministers from Britain, China, France, Germany and Russian Federation meet their Iranian counterpart in Vienna for the first time since US President Donald Trump left the pact in May, but diplomats see limited scope for salvaging it.

Top diplomats from Iran and five world powers sat down in Vienna on Friday to hash out what steps are needed to preserve the nuclear deal with Tehran following the withdrawal of the United States.

Since Trump's shock move in May, which dismayed all other signatories, Washington has warned other countries to end trade and investment in Iran and stop buying its oil from early November or face punitive measures.

Their foreign ministers were holding talks in Vienna, where the accord was signed in 2015 with the aim of stopping Iran from building the atomic bomb in return for sanctions relief that promised greater trade and investment for the country.

"The Iranians expect the others to say what we are going to do to keep the deal alive".

In a joint statement, the foreign ministers said they are still committed to the economic relations with Iran including "Iran's continued oil and gas exports" and other energy products.

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"Failure to maintain and implement the deal would not only affect the Iran nuclear issue itself but also cause serious negative impacts on the functioning of the non-proliferation regime as well as on the situation in the Middle East", Wang said.

Any confirmation that Iranian authorities were behind the plot could make it politically hard for European leaders to continue to back the nuclear deal.

Trump in May slammed the nuclear accord signed under his predecessor Barack Obama as "horrible" and "defective at its core", earning applause from Iran s regional rivals Saudi Arabia and Israel.

On Friday, a ministerial meeting on the Iran nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Commission of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was held in Vienna, capital of Austria.

Iran's economy is already suffering from the sanctions that Washington re-imposed after walking away from the nuclear agreement, and the U.S. has threatened to punish companies from other nations that continue doing business with Iran.

Since Trump's announcement, Iran's rial currency has fallen, prices have risen and the country has been hit by street protests and strikes.

An Austria-based Iranian diplomat was among four people arrested on suspicion of plotting an attack on an Iranian opposition group in France last week.

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