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Iran's Foreign Minister in Brussels to save the nuclear agreement

Iran's Foreign Minister in Brussels to save the nuclear agreement”

Iran and its European partners agreed Tuesday to work on "practical solutions" aimed at saving the Iran nuclear deal after the U.S. chose to withdraw, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said following talks in Brussels.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif arrived in Brussels for a meeting with his British, French and German counterparts later on Tuesday, shortly before Washington announced extra sanctions on Iranian financial officials.

Iran will not surrender to USA pressures, President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday, a day after Washington imposed new sanctions on following its withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal.

After announcing the USA withdrawal on May 8, Trump, a long-term critic of the deal, signed a presidential memorandum to begin reinstating United States economic sanctions on Iran.

European Union and Iran agreed to hold intense expert consultations in coming days with an aim to boost economic, trade and investment cooperation, the European Union foreign policy chief added.

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Despite the private doubts among many European diplomats, their governments will say that they are sticking by the 2015 accord that gave Tehran sanctions relief in return for an end to its nuclear ambitions.

"Trump played his first card, but miscalculated the second move... as Iran did not follow that plan", he added.

Deal opponents add JCPOA placed no stipulation on how Iran can spend any post-sanctions revenues it generates, including on missile programme development and proxy wars.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the meeting had been a good start, but he wanted to see guarantees materialise.

She explained that to escape United States sanctions, companies would have to stop using the dollar, which is used in about 90 percent of global transactions. "We are ready to do so if needed", Bloomberg cited Avramopoulos as saying.

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Western analysts think an estimated 500,000 bpd of Iranian exports will be disrupted by November this year, but Iran's veteran Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh has said shipments will not be affected.

But European diplomats have sought to play down expectations of Tuesday's meeting, stressing the enormous challenge of finding a way around USA sanctions punishing foreign businesses trading with Iran, which have global reach.

The European Commission has been examining measures to counter the introduction of any U.S. sanctions that could harm European businesses.

European commissioners will discuss sanctions-blocking measures on Wednesday, opening the way for European leaders to discuss the issue at a summit in Sofia later that day.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said that "it won't be easy, that's clear to all of us". What Iran does want is for the five countries remaining in the deal and the European Union to find some way of compensating for the USA pull-out and its effects on the Iranian economy.

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