EU Describes First Meeting with Iranian FM as Useful

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European firms, especially those from France and Germany, rushed to invest in Iran following the 2015 agreement, under which Tehran agreed to freeze its nuclear programme in return for the repeal of punishing global sanctions.

"We are on the right path to move forward". Whatever decided should preserve and guarantee Iran's rights.

Meanwhile, Lavrov said that Russian Federation and Europe had a duty to "jointly defend their legal interests" in terms of the Iran deal.

The accord lifted worldwide sanctions on Iran in 2016 in return for Tehran shutting down its capacity, under strict surveillance by the United Nations nuclear watchdog, to stockpile enriched uranium for a possible atomic bomb.

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Trump denounced the accord, completed under his predecessor Barack Obama, as a "horrible, one-sided deal that should have never, ever been made" as it did not cover Iran's ballistic missile programme or its role in Middle East conflicts. "We will all save it together".

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

In statements prior to his decision to withdraw from the agreement and to re-impose crippling economic sanctions on Iran, Trump said he had no intention of changing course on a campaign promise that he made almost two years ago when he pledged to reverse his predecessor Barack Obama's landmark accord with Tehran.

China's Foreign Ministry said talks included an "exchange of views with relevant parties on the developments of the Iranian nuclear issue". From the economic perspective, watch for how European companies like Renault, Volkswagen and Fiat-Chrysler with plans to invest in Iran react to USA plans to resume sanctions against the Islamic Republic. European Union members France, the UK, and Germany are signatories to the agreement along with Russian Federation and China - who, aside from Berlin, are also permanent members of the UN Security Council with the United States.

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In the past week, it has slapped a new series of sanctions against Iran.

On Sunday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington still wants to work with Europe to counter Iran's "malign behaviour" and was working hard to thrash out a more wide-ranging deal with its European partners.

The EU's executive arm, the European Commission, has been examining measures to counter the introduction of any USA sanctions that might harm European businesses and is expected to unveil them to EU leaders at a meeting in Bulgaria on Wednesday.

Among them is the possible use of an EU "blocking regulation" which would, in essence, ban European companies from respecting American sanctions where those sanctions might damage EU interests, notably trade and the movement of capital.

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But the measures have never been used and may be hard to enforce, while European Union companies could still face asset seizures, fines and possibly criminal charges in the United States. "We don't have much to threaten the Americans".

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