French FM says his country will stay in Iran nuclear deal

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is seen on Tuesday. Trump says the country's increased military spending reveals a flaw in the nuclear deal that he pulled out

"Our meetings will continue during the upcoming two weeks".

Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Abbas Araqchi said Germany, France and the United Kingdom had 60 days to provide Iran *with enough guarantees to ensure it could* stay in the deal, according to IRNA.

Even former President Obama, who typically doesn't weigh in on current events, issued a statement saying he believes the USA decision to pull out of the Iran agreement is "a serious mistake".

World powers agreed to lift some of the economic sanctions imposed on Iran in return for the latter agreeing to limit its nuclear activity to peaceful and civilian purposes.

After holding talks in China, the top Iranian diplomat departed to Moscow as part of efforts to save the nuclear deal reached between Tehran and the six world powers in 2015, which provides the Islamic Republic with relief from worldwide sanctions in return for curbing its nuclear program.

"By the U.S. withdrawal the balance will collapse and we must see how the interests of the Iranian people can be protected in this situation", the Iranian diplomat said.

The deal's proponents say it is crucial to forestalling a nuclear Iran and preventing wider war in the Middle East.

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"The final aim of these negotiations is to seek assurances that the interests of the Iranian nation will be defended", Zarif said at the start of a meeting.

Following talks with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, Mr Zarid said: "We hope that with this visit to China and other countries we will be able to construct a clear future design for the comprehensive agreement".

Trump also said he would reinstate USA nuclear sanctions on Iran and impose "the highest level" of economic bans on the Islamic Republic.

The EU's energy commissioner is also traveling this week to Iran to discuss strengthening European energy support to the Islamic Republic.

The EU, which with Germany, France, Britain, Russia, China and the United States, signed the nuclear accord with Iran, does have some steps it can take to shield European business in Iran.

"The Europeans, after the withdrawal of the United States from the deal, have found themselves forced to save the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action themselves", he told AFP, referring to the official name of the nuclear deal.

They could consider retaliatory sanctions using the EU's so-called blocking statute that bans any European Union company from complying with US sanctions and does not recognise any court rulings that enforce American penalties.

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