European Union top diplomats agree to follow through Iran nuclear deal

Workers inspect a Peugeot 508 at the Iran Khodro car factory in Tehran Iran Wednesday

Boris Johnson has held talks with his French and German counterparts as they work to save the Iran nuclear deal after the USA made a decision to withdraw from the agreement.

Mohammad Javad Zarif met the EU's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini ahead of talks with counterparts from Britain, France and Germany - the three European signatories to the landmark deal who are scrabbling to preserve it.

During talks with the Chinese foreign minister, Zarif pointed to good relations between Tehran and Beijing after the JCPOA implementation started in 2016, saying, "We are confident that China will stand by Iran".

"I want to stress that that does not mean we are in any sense not going to be working with the Americans", Johnson said, adding: "it's vital that we continue to engage with the U.S. and continue to interrogate our friends in Washington about how they see the nuclear deal developing".

"And I think what we've seen is that Iran's economic condition is really quite shaky, so that the effect here could be dramatic", he said.

Germany and France, in particular, have established significant trade links with Iran.

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

Now that the USA sanctions are back, PSA says it is hoping for the European Union to adopt a common position on Iran.

"Do we accept extraterritorial sanctions?"

Those comments were echoed by Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson who told parliament that regime change in Iran was not a policy Britain should pursue.

Total CEO Patrick Pouyanne has previously said his company would ask for a waiver in case Trump pulled out of the Iran deal.

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Much is at stake for both countries.

Plane-makers Boeing and Airbus are probably the highest-profile casualties of the reimposed sanctions, as they had been planning to start selling aircraft to the Islamic Republic for the first time.

Exports of German goods to Iran rose by around 400 million euros to 3 billion euros. Not only is it one of the USA companies making parts for Airbus, but it has also received big parts orders for oil and gas facilities in Iran. It also points to a refusal to accept that Mr Trump's decision on Iran, fulfilling a campaign pledge to USA voters, should be allowed to upend a global agreement negotiated over years and which worldwide observers say is working. "That means, it is concretely about damage limitation". However, secondary U.S. sanctions against Iran were never lifted.

Iran's foreign minister went on to emphasize that Iran's interests in the agreement must be secured.

Basravi said the Rouhani government's "political health ... hangs in the balance" as the administration has "married itself to this deal and championed it as the answer to all" of the country's economic woes.

Iran was also seeking information on May 10 about the impact of US sanctions on European businesses.

Israel and Iran engaged in an extensive military exchange on the heels of Trump's decision to leave the deal.

Boeing is of course based in Chicago, but France-based Airbus also needed its now-revoked USA export license because more than 10% of its parts are American.

Russian Federation and Iran once had hard relations but have seen ties improve since the end of the Cold War.

On Wednesday, EU leaders will hold a dinner before a European Council meeting in Sofia at which they will discuss options to protect European businesses.

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