Zarif visits Russia, China to save nuclear deal

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Moscow, May 14 (IANS) Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif reached Moscow on Monday as part of a series of international diplomatic meetings aimed at saving the Iran nuclear deal following the withdrawal of the US.

Zarif will be discussing the agreement with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov, CNN reported.

Before Russia, Zarif was in Beijing where he stressed the importance of keeping the pacts, which were signed in 2015 with the aim of both halting Tehran’s nuclear ambitions and stimulating the country’s economy.

Zarif met his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi who reiterated Beijing’s support for the deal. “China will take an objective, fair and responsible attitude, keep communication and cooperation with all parties concerned and continue to work to maintain the deal,” Wang said on Sunday, adding the agreement was “hard-earned”.

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According to Russia’s TASS news agency, Lavrov and Zarif will discuss the “possibility of preserving the Iran nuclear deal” as Moscow previously stated its strong support for the agreement.

US President Donald Trump announced on May 8 that the country would be withdrawing from the accord, which was signed under former President Barack Obama, saying it was “defective at its core”.

Trump also said he planned to reintroduce the highest level of economic sanctions on Iran.

But other countries around the world, including Germany, France, and the UK, have said they would like to keep the original deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in place.

–IANS

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