FM Zarif in China to Discuss Iran Nuclear Deal

Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov

Commenting on the recent developments, political scientists and worldwide relations scholar Özdemir Akbal has said that the thaw in relations between the U.S. and Iran during their fight against Daesh* has come to an end, as Washington, having secured its anti-Tehran allies' support - Israel and Saudi Arabia - has turned to take decisive action against the Islamic Republic.

"The US withdrawal from the deal could benefit Russia", Moscow-based geopolitical expert Alexey Malashenko told AFP.

The possible collapse of a deal which had promised to keep Iran in check comes as Israel attacked Iran's military installations in Syria.

"Russia could profit by getting closer to the European Union and saying 'look, we are still in agreement on some issues, we agree on this subject, against the United States".

Le Maire said he was seeking concrete exemptions for countries already present in Iran, including Renault, Total, Sanofi, Danone and Peugeot.

They were shifting the balance of power in the Middle East until President Trump got out of this deal, he said adding that the policy of the administration is to make sure that Iran never gets close to a deliverable nuclear weapon.

"Since the signing of the JCPOA (nuclear deal), we have gone from an atmosphere like a gold rush, to one of utter depression", said a Western trade diplomat on condition of anonymity.

On the one hand, he is preaching the old neoconservative rhetoric - doubling down on hawkish policies towards Iran, signalling regime change, and undertaking unilateral United States actions against Iran without the support of key historical allies.

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal was not a decision that could be taken exclusively by the U.S.

Trump hit back Saturday evening, tweeting that the accord had failed to contain Iran's militarism. No more taking them at their word; a verifiable end to Iran's missile programs, whether long- or short-range; No sunset - a permanent and verifiable end to Iran's nuclear ambitions.

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"Do we want to be vassals who obey decisions taken by the United States while clinging to the hem of their pants?"

"Iran's Military Budget is up more than 40 percent since the Obama negotiated Nuclear Deal was reached... just another indicator that it was all a big lie", he wrote.

On Thursday, US individuals and entities were barred from doing business with six Iranian individuals and three companies that Washington said had ties to the Revolutionary Guards.

Ushakov said the United States exit may help bring Russian Federation and European nations closer.

"We are not scared of sanctions", Ryabkov said.

Mr Trump weighed in later Sunday, saying his decision would limit Iran's regional ambitions.

According to Igor Delanoe, an analyst at the Franco-Russian Observatory group, Russian companies continued to work in Iran "without any fuss" even when the sanctions were in place.

Khamenei said this week he is highly doubtful that Europe will provide the "real guarantees" needed for Iran to stay in the nuclear deal.

"For the first time, Iran has the chance to show the world they are not the rogue nation they are always presented as, that they negotiated in good faith and keep to their commitments", said Karim Emile Bitar of the Institute for global and Strategic Studies in Paris.

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