Iran had never made strategic decision to give up nukes: Bolton

Iran had never made strategic decision to give up nukes: Bolton

Germany and France said they would seek to shield European companies from USA sanctions, which would prohibit companies that do business in Iran from using the US financial system.

"The two leaders looked forward to the summit which will take place between President Trump and Kim Jong-un in Singapore", the spokesperson said, adding that Britain would continue to work with the United States to keep up the pressure for denuclearisation of North Korea.

Mogherini will chair talks between the British, French, German and Iranian foreign ministers in Brussels on Tuesday.

Zarif made the comments after talks with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and his counterparts from Britain, France and Germany - the three European signatories to the 2015 landmark accord who are fighting to preserve it.

"The President of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran has been tasked with taking all necessary steps in preparation for Iran to pursue industrial-scale enrichment without any restrictions, using the results of the latest research and development of Iran's fearless nuclear scientists".

The statement follows a week in which Mr Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have been reiterating the US's decision to withdraw from the Iran Nuclear Agreement.

European powers vowed to keep the 2015 nuclear deal alive without the United States by trying to keep Iran's oil and investment flowing, but admitted they would struggle to provide the guarantees Tehran seeks.

Before leaving, Zarif published a government statement on his Twitter page, slamming the "extremist administration" of USA president Donald Trump for abandoning "an accord recognised as a victory of diplomacy by the global community".

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

The two leaders agreed for their teams to hold discussions on the potential impact of United States sanctions on firms doing business in Iran. We are operating in a very hard context.

It is unclear how well the measure could be enforced, given that big multinationals are likely to be doing more business in the US than they are in Iran and may be unwilling to compromise that market access.


Bolton went on to point out Mr Trump's consistency in his aims to withdraw from the deal: "Many people thought we would never get out of it".

"This was an agreement which was deliberately kept narrow to deal with Iran's nuclear program".

Their failure to convince President Trump will see the U.S. reimpose sanctions and put European businesses under pressure to wind up their links with the country.

Seif, whose role is equivalent to the Federal Reserve chairman in the US, oversees major financial decisions in Iran.

"Germany, France and Britain, the "EU3", say themselves that Iran poses a threat".

Pointing also to the USA withdrawal from the Paris accord on climate change, Merkel added: "If we always say that, if we don't like things and we can't achieve a new worldwide order, everyone will do what they feel like, that's bad news for the world".

But the government of President Hassan Rouhani faces political challenges at home, where the economy was already suffering high unemployment and inflation before Trump's decision. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has constantly maintained that Iran is sticking to the terms of the agreement and is not cheating, a fact independently verified by the USA military as well.

Ship insurance was a critical hurdle when sanctions were previously imposed on Iran because tanker operators couldn't obtain the level of cover that's considered standard across the oil industry.

Bolton said Europe was still digesting Trump's move last week.

Each company and bank will have to decide whether to risk being cut off from the US financial system.

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