Zarif embarks on journey to save nuclear deal by first visiting China

Zarif embarks on journey to save nuclear deal by first visiting China

Iran's foreign minister departed on a whirlwind diplomatic tour early Sunday as world leaders scramble to salvage something from the wreckage of a landmark nuclear deal in the wake of Washington's withdrawal.

As he arrived in Beijing, Zarif said Tehran was "ready for all option (s)", according to the semi-official ISNA news agency.

"Iran has asked the European Union and particularly Germany, France and Britain to announce as soon as possible their stand on how Iran's interests can be fulfilled and guaranteed under the nuclear agreement after America's withdrawal", the TV report said.

Historic deal on Iran's nuclear program from 2015 provides for the removal of sanctions against Iran in exchange for limiting its opportunities for the enrichment and storage of nuclear materials.

Media captionWhat is the Iran nuclear deal?

Add that trump intends to immediately impose sanctions against any foreign companies that will do business with Iran.

A number of voices in Iran have suggested the deal is unlikely to survive.

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That is part of a flurry of diplomatic activity following Trump's unilateral withdrawal from what he called "a disgusting, one-sided deal", a move accompanied by the threat of penalties against any foreign firms doing business in Iran.

On May 8, US President Donald Trump announced that the US was walking away from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) which he described as a frightful deal.

Meanwhile, European diplomats in Tehran fumed that Trump's decision to withdraw from the deal could undermine years of patient work to restore commercial and diplomatic ties with the Islamic Republic.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani reiterated his country's commitment to the deal, saying Teheran will continue to implement its liabilities.

On Saturday evening French President Emmanuel Macron phoned Trump to "take stock of trade issues and discuss the situation in the Near and Middle East", the Elysee said in a statement.

The head of the influential Revolutionary Guards, Mohammad Ali Jafari, said: "I hope recent events will lead us to end our trust in the West and the Europeans". "They will never abandon the U.S. for us", said housewife Poormoslem at a protest against Trump on Friday.

"Our economic relations with Iran are in progress and the two sides have made long strides in other political, security and many others areas".

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