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European Union and Iran to keep nuclear deal in place

European Union and Iran to keep nuclear deal in place

"We reaffirmed together our resolve to continue to implement the nuclear deal in all its parts, in good faith, and in a constructive atmosphere", she said.

Highlighting just how hard it will be, the US Treasury announced on Tuesday (15/05) more sanctions, including on Iran's central bank governor, just minutes before the Brussels meeting was due to begin.

President Donald Trump's withdrawal of the United States from the nuclear accord and his order that sanctions be reimposed on Tehran have left European allies scrambling to keep the deal alive and protect their Iranian trade.

"If we want to save this deal, we know that the sooner we manage to do it the better and the easier it will be".

On Tuesday night, after the meeting, Ms. Mogherini said that the foreign ministers had agreed to begin work, to "find solutions in the next few weeks", on issues like Iran's energy sales, banking transactions, export credits and investment, and protections for European companies working in Iran. "A lot depends on what we can do within the next few weeks".

"I want to stress we are under no illusion about the stuff Iran gets up to in the region, in the Middle East".

Europe is scrambling to come up with ways to persuade Iran to stick with the landmark 2015 agreement despite USA president Donald Trump ditching it a week ago.

Mogherini agreed at the end of a long day of diplomatic meetings.

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That was quickly brought home by the French energy giant Total which joined other European companies in signalling on Wednesday they could exit Iran.

"It's not right to cancel this agreement in this situation now", she said.

"We will be looking at a package of measures that we may be able to devise as Europeans to encourage the Iranians to stay in the deal", he told reporters.

European diplomats, speaking on background because they did not have authorization to talk otherwise, said on Tuesday that they felt no great urgency, which was just as well, given the difficulty of the task.

The president of the European Council, Donald Tusk, announced that during the informal summit of the EU on the Balkans that will be held on May 17 in Sofia, Bulgaria, it is expected to agree on a common response of the 28 member states of the regional bloc on the JCPOA against the withdrawal of the United States from the agreement.

The regulation, which has been brandished as a threat in the past but never used, was drawn up more than 20 years ago and would have to be revised.

The EU's energy commissioner is also traveling this week to Iran to discuss strengthening European energy support to Iran.