Chinese FM joins talks in Vienna to salvage Iran nuclear deal

World Today

Top diplomats from six nations met in Vienna on Friday to try to salvage the Iran nuclear deal. The agreement to curb Iran’s nuclear program is in danger of falling apart after the U.S. withdrew in May and officials are now racing to come up with a new plan before U.S. sanctions against Tehran take effect in August.

CGTN’s Kate Parkinson has more.

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Diplomats arrived in Vienna for the first joint talks among the remaining signatories of the Iran nuclear deal since United States President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out American support in May. 

Among the remaining signatories, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said preserving the deal is critical and that the treaty states would send a “united, determined and strong signal” that China, Britain, France, Germany and Russia remain committed to upholding the accord. 

However, the various diplomats have also warned that they have limited scope for meeting Iran’s demands. French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian who spoke to French radio ahead of Friday’s talks said it would be be hard to prepare a sanction-proof economic package to statisfy Iran before the first round of fresh US sanctions kick in.

“The sanctions start in early August. There’s a second wave of sanctions that will take effect in November,” Le Drian said. ” For early August, it might be a little too soon, but for the month of November, we will try to reach it.”

Tehran has also been talking tough and warned that it could reduce its cooperation with the U.N. nuclear watchdog and stand firm against US threats to impose fresh sanctions on Iranian oil sales.

Friday’s talks concluded with a statement from European Union Foreign Policy Chief Frederica Mogherini reading a statement that reaffirmed the commitment of all parties to uphold the deal but not anything new.