Europeans must guarantee benefits to Iran of nuclear deal - Zarif

Iran deal explainer: What is the atomic deal? Why is it targeted?

Under the deal signed in Vienna with six world powers - China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, the US, Germany, and the European Union - Iran scaled back its uranium enrichment programme and promised not to pursue nuclear weapons in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.

When asked whether the United States might impose sanctions on European companies that continue to do business with Iran, Bolton told CNN: "It's possible".

Iran has said it would remain in the JCPOA for now, pending negotiations with the other signatories in the coming weeks before making a final decision.

Germany acknowledged it could be hard to protect companies doing business with Iran as a senior USA official renewed a threat of sanctions against European firms following Washington's decision to pull out of a nuclear deal with Tehran.

The Trump administration portrayed its rejection of the nuclear agreement as a response, in part, to Tehran's interventions in the Middle East, underpinning Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's tough line towards Iran.

Following talks with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, Mr Zarid 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".

Iran has said it is preparing to resume "industrial-scale" uranium enrichment "without any restrictions" unless Europe can provide solid guarantees that it can maintain trade ties despite renewed United States sanctions.

He will later head to Moscow and Brussels.

Europeans are going to face the effect of US sanctions already really because much of what they'd like to sell to Iran involves US technology for which the licenses will not be available, ” US National Security Advisor John Bolton said.

In his remarks announcing the United States" withdraw from the deal, President Trump threatened, "We will be instituting the highest level of economic sanction.

The deal came together after years of painstaking work and worldwide collaboration - first in developing a united front of crippling sanctions against the Iranian regime to bring the nation to the bargaining table, then years of multilateral negotiations with Iran, the European Union, China and Russian Federation.

The White House said Trump had spoken with French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday and "reiterated the need for a comprehensive deal that addresses all aspects of Iran's destabilzing activity in the Middle East". Citing data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, the newspaper explained that Iranian military spending has increased by only about 30 percent from 2015, the year the Iran deal was reached, to last year.

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif talks to the media as he leaves after a meeting with European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini at the EU Council in Brussels, Belgium, May 15, 2018.

If the USA punishes European companies for doing business with Iran, foreign companies will likely walk away from Iran.

He will also meet with the foreign ministers of Germany, France and the United Kingdom in Brussels on Tuesday to discuss the future of the deal.

Bolton was tapped by President Donald Trump in March to replace H.R. McMaster and is considered a hard-liner on many global matters, including Iran.

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