Iran’s foreign minister starts tour of world powers to save nuclear deal

World Today

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is interviewed by The Associated Press, in New York, Tuesday, April 24, 2018. Zarif is warning the Trump administration that pulling out from the Iran nuclear deal would undermine talks with North Korea by proving that America reneges on its promises. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Iran’s top diplomat embarks on a tour, aiming to save the Iran nuclear deal. It’s less than a week since President Donald Trump announced U.S. withdrawal.

But Tehran said it will stick to the deal if it can be saved. CGTN’s Toby Muse reports.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif arrives in Beijing this weekend. It’s the first stop in international travels aimed at uniting the other signatories of the Iran deal to keep the agreement alive.

Iran’s president said the country is seeking “required guarantees” from the other countries in the deal. Zarif was one of the main architects of the original deal hammered out in 2015.

After his meeting in China, he will travel on to Russia and then a meeting at EU headquarters in Brussels with representatives from France, Germany and the U.K.

The U.S. is largely isolated on President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal. A majority of countries said that the deal should continue. Washington’s only major supporters of ending the deal are limited to Israel and Saudi Arabia.

European officials have all expressed deep disappointment over the pullout, with French officials particularly angry. The finance minister, Bruno Le Maire, accused the U.S. of threatening its sovereignty.

The U.S. has threatened sanctions on companies that do business with Iran. That puts many European companies in the crosshairs. Companies like French oil giant Total and the car-maker Renault have investments in Iran. Next week, foreign ministers from Germany, the UK and France are set to meet to see how they can save the deal and protect their interests.

Interestingly, Bloomberg news ran an article suggesting that the main beneficiary of the threat of sanctions against Europeans could be China, which has seen its business with Iran double over the past decade.

Meanwhile, the top inspector at the International Atomic Energy Agency quit his position. The UN nuclear watchdog did not give a reason for the resignation, but it came just days after the U.S. withdrew from the deal.