Iran leaders on diplomatic push to salvage nuke deal, demand European Union guarantees

COLOMBO May 11 – Sri Lanka’s military on Thursday said that it was prepared to face a war crimes inquiry in order to clear its name

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Following his meeting with Zarif on Sunday, China's foreign minister said Beijing will "work to maintain the [nuclear] deal", state news agency Xinhua reported.

JCPOA was implemented in 2016 after five permanent members of UN Security Council, China, France, Russia, United Kingdom and US plus Germany reached an agreement with Rouhani's government to lift global sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic in exchange for Tehran to curb its nuclear program.

"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.

As President of the Republic, we are ready for all options.

Iran's foreign minister has has held talks in China as he began a diplomatic tour with the remaining signatories of a multinational nuclear deal following the recent USA withdrawal from the landmark 2015 pact.

Mr Zarif's next stop is Moscow and only then will he fly to Brussels, where he will meet Boris Johnson, the foreign secretary, and his French and German counterparts.

Mohammad Javad Zarif and senior Chinese officials hailed the "strategic partnership" between their countries.

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Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has called the United States withdrawal "impudent" and "worthless". "They will never abandon the USA for us", said housewife Poormoslem at a protest against Trump on Friday.

Before leaving, Zarif published a government statement on his Twitter page, slamming Trump's "extremist administration" for abandoning "an accord recognized as a victory of diplomacy by the worldwide community".

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said last week he is highly doubtful that Europe will provide the "real guarantees" needed for Iran to stay in the nuclear deal.

Trump hit back on Saturday evening, tweeted that the accord had failed to contain Iran's militarism.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Wednesday that China would "carry on the normal and transparent pragmatic cooperation with Iran".

"Iran's Military Budget is up more than 40 percent since the Obama negotiated Nuclear Deal was reached. just another indicator that it was all a big lie", he wrote.

France and other western allies have been critical of Washington's plan to reimpose sanctions on any companies doing business with Iran.

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