Iran's Zarif in Moscow as Russia moves to save nuclear deal

Zarif says US withdrawal from Iran nuclear deal is unlawful

Tehran said it will preserve the 2015 nuclear deal with Russian Federation despite Washington's decision to withdraw.

There was no press conference following the Lavrov-Zarif talks in Moscow, and the Russian Foreign Ministry only said in a brief statement that the main focus of the conversation was the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, also known as the Iran nuclear deal; both ministers agreed to maintain close contact on this issue.

Zarif arrived in Beijing on Sunday for the first stop of his tour, ahead of visiting Moscow and Brussels in the coming days.

Trump pulled out on May 8, claiming that Iran had violated the "spirit" of the deal by financing militant violence in the Middle East and by continuing to test ballistic missiles.

"If the nuclear deal is to continue, the interests of the people of Iran must be assured", he added.

Shortly after Trump's announcement about the US withdrawal from the JCPOA, President Hassan Rouhani said Tehran would stay in the deal with other signatories if its interests are guaranteed.


A number of top Iranian officials and politicians have threatened in the past week to restart the country's nuclear program following Trump's decision to leave the deal.

China offered to hold strategic talks with Iran but did not disclose whether Beijing might scale back imports in light of renewed US sanctions.

Iran has been in discussions with countries involved in the 2015 agreement in an attempt to save the deal after the USA withdrawal.

"The Europeans have between 45 and 60 days to give the necessary guarantees to safeguard Iranian interests and compensate the damages caused by the USA pullout", Icana.ir said, attributing the remarks to Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi.

After meeting his counterpart in Beijing, Mr Zarif 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". Mohammad Ali Jafari, head of the Revolutionary Guards, said the country could not rely on the West.

He said he had been told by Trump "to work to strike a deal that achieves the outcomes that protect America". Khamenei said last week he was highly doubtful that Europe would provide the "real guarantees" needed for Iran to stay in the nuclear deal.

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