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Iran foreign minister scrambles to China and Russia to save nuclear deal

IRAN is on a mission to save its nuclear deal from the brink of collapse by visiting Russia and China following the US President’s decision to withdraw from the 2015 accord.

Iran Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said he hoped for a “clear future design” of the deal as he began a series of diplomatic tours aimed at rescuing the agreement.

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.”

He said he was “ready for all options”, adding: “If the nuclear deal is to continue, the interests of the people of Iran must be assured”.

China's Foreign Ministry said talks included an “exchange of views with relevant parties on the developments of the Iranian nuclear issue”.

The pair hailed the "comprehensive strategic partnership" between their countries.

Describing the deal as “hard-earned”, Mr Yi added: "I hope and believe that these visits to multiple countries will help protect Iran's legitimate national interests and peace and stability in the region."

"China will take an objective, fair and responsible attitude, keep communication and cooperation with all parties concerned, and continue to work to maintain the deal.”

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang added: “China is highly concerned with the direction of the Iranian nuclear issue and is willing to maintain communication with all relevant parties, including Iran.”

Mr Zarif also discussed the agreement with his Russian counterpart, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, on Monday. 

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

It comes after Iranian President Hassan Rohani confirmed Tehran would remain in the nuclear accord provided that the nation’s interests were protected.

US President Donald Trump withdrew America from the historic Iran agreement last week, but other nations, including the UK, France, and Germany, have said that they will continue to uphold it.

The American leader warned that there may be punishments for the UK and other European nations when he announced his withdrawal from the “decaying and rotten” agreement last Monday.

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Tags: Daily Express, Sunday Express. UK, World News
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