Published: Mon, July 09, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Vienna meet on nuclear deal supports Iran's continued oil, gas exports

Vienna meet on nuclear deal supports Iran's continued oil, gas exports

Germany's foreign minister said on Friday world powers would not be able to fully compensate for companies leaving Iran due to new USA sanctions, but warned Tehran that abandoning its nuclear deal would cause more harm to its economy.

The Iranian leader said he hoped the matter could be addressed at the meeting which comes two months after US President Donald Trump walked away from the landmark 2015 agreement.

Foreign ministers of China, Russia, France, Britain, Germany and Iran met in Vienna on Friday to discuss how to save the landmark deal following the US withdrawal.

Describing the Friday meeting as important, Iranian officials have said that key for them is to ensure measures that guarantee oil exports do not halt, and that Tehran still has access to the SWIFT worldwide bank payments messaging system.

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Asked what would be the USA naval reaction if Iran blocks the strait, he said: "Together, we stand ready to ensure the freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce wherever global law allows".

Responding to a question at a joint press conference with Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl on Thursday, Wang stressed that all parties to JCPOA, an worldwide multilateral agreement endorsed by the United Nations Security Council, have obligations to comply with and implement it.

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.

The meeting on Friday confirmed that with the United States withdrawal from the deal, Britain would take over of the function of co-chair, together with China, of the Arak research reactor working group.

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"The participants will work (.) with worldwide partners in order to encourage them to follow the same policies and to establish similar mechanisms in their economic relations with Iran", she told reporters.

The pillars of the European Union's strategy are: European Investment Bank lending, a special measure to shield EU companies from United States secondary sanctions and a Commission proposal that EU governments make direct money transfers to Iran's central bank to avoid USA penalties. In addition, the bloc has authorized the European Investment Bank to finance Iranian projects.

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 United States and its allies, such as Iran's military influence in the Middle East and a ballistic missile program.

He added, however, that Europe had only made pledges so far. "We expect a clear action plan from Europe with a timetable so it can compensate for the USA exit from the deal". Washington has since told countries they must stop buying Iranian oil from November 4 or face financial measures. Several major firms - including France's Total and Peugeot, and Russia's Lukoil - have said they are preparing to leave. The rial currency has fallen, prices have risen and the country has been hit by street protests and strikes.

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"We will not be able to compensate for everything that arises from companies pulling out of Iran", Heiko Maas told reporters before a round of talks among the remaining parties to the deal. "We want to make clear to Iran that it will still gain economic benefits through this agreement".

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