U.S. Excluded from Iran Nuclear Deal Summit in Vienna

David Peterlin

This is the second meeting after United States unilateral exit from JCPOA which is slated to discuss EU's economic proposal with the aim of ensuring Iran's economic and commercial interests in the absence of U.S. from the global pact.

In calls with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said since the USA withdrawal "Iran has been dealing with economic issues and problems in banking relations and oil" and that foreign companies were "skeptical" about continuing their business, Iran's semi-official Mehr news agency reported.

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.

Wang made the remarks on Thursday while responding to a question at a press conference jointly held with Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl.

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.

Mogherini would chair Friday's meeting.

The European Union has already taken steps to shield European companies from USA sanctions, and it promises limited financial compensation to companies that are hit by the US measures.




Trump said he was unilaterally pulling out of the deal negotiated by his predecessor because he felt it wasn't strong enough and didn't cover other issues of concern to the U.S. and its allies, such as Iran's military influence in the Middle East and a ballistic missile program.

"They must be implemented by the time the sanctions come into force", the minister demanded. Washington has since told countries they must stop buying Iranian oil from November 4 or face financial measures.

Any confirmation that Iranian authorities were behind the plot could make it politically hard for European leaders to continue to back the nuclear deal. Several major firms - including France's Total and Peugeot, and Russia's Lukoil - have said they are preparing to leave.

"We want to make it clear to Iran today that it still has economic benefits from this agreement", Maas told reporters.

"If the process of the European foreign ministers' meeting in Vienna, which is aimed at encouraging Iran to cooperate, is promising, we will continue our cooperation", he said.

Maas called the European offer "attractive" but conceded that "we won't be able to compensate for all the effects of enterprises withdrawing from Iran because they see their American business interests threatened by the sanctions".

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

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