JCPOA members resolved to stand up to USA exit: Iran

IRAN PRESIDENT Hassan Rouhani and Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz attend a news conference at the

Zarif made the remarks while addressing reporters in the Austrian capital Vienna on Friday following a meeting with his counterparts from Britain, France, Germany, China and Russian Federation for the first time since US President Donald Trump pulled Washington out from the nuclear accord, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, in May.

Iran's remaining partners in the 2015 nuclear deal vowed Friday to keep the energy exporter plugged into the global economy despite the United States withdrawal and sanctions threat. Washington has since told countries they must stop buying Iranian oil from November 4 or face financial measures.

The meeting Friday between Iran, Germany, Britain, France, Russia and China will consider proposals for salvaging the 2015 deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which is meant to prevent Tehran from developing nuclear weapons.

"Everyone agreed that it was a grave violation of the deal's terms, " Lavrov said, adding that this United States move was apparently "provoked by nothing other than a desire to once again politicize the situation around Iran".

A senior US military leader said in 2012 the Guards have the ability to block the strait "for a period of time" but the United States would take action to reopen it in such an event.

However, Rouhani told French President Emmanuel Macron by telephone on Thursday that the package of economic measures failed to offset sufficiently the effects of the US pullout and its re-imposition of nuclear-related sanctions. He said the package lacks workable solution and is a set of general commitments like the previous European Union statements.

Maas said he expected negotiations to continue after the Friday talks, which were convened at Iran's request.

"If the process of the European foreign ministers' meeting in Vienna, which is aimed at encouraging Iran to cooperate, is promising, we will continue our cooperation", he said.

Iranian officials have said that key for them is to ensure measures that guarantee oil exports do not halt, and that Tehran still has access to the SWIFT global bank payments messaging system or an alternative.

Iran, which strongly denies ever seeking to build a nuclear bomb, has warned it could resume uranium enrichment for civilian purposes if the deal collapses.

Addressing a group of veteran IRGC forces, General Jaafari said the great achievements made during Iran-Iraq eight years of sacred defense should be regarded as a memorable experience for all eras and in our efforts to address national crises and it will enable us to overcome big challenges.

The top Iranian diplomat said the participants at the Vienna meeting agreed to take "good measures" to save the JCPOA.

"We are formulating an offer which, in our opinion, is also attractive for Iran", Maas said. "To save the deal, other signatories should compensate for US sanctions", a senior Iranian official told Reuters on Friday.

Hassan Rouhani, who spoke with his French counterpart on the phone, also said the European Union's proposed package on continuation of cooperation under the nuclear deal does not cover all demands of Iran.

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