Iran seeks 'clear future design' for imperilled nuclear deal

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Sanctions on European companies that do business with Iran after the United States withdrawal from the nuclear deal are "possible", White House National Security Adviser John Bolton said on Sunday.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif on Monday discussed the future of Iran nuclear deal after the USA withdrawal.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), known as the deal on Iran's nuclear program, was signed between Iran and six worldwide mediators (the United Kingdom, Germany, China, Russia, the United States, and France) on July 14, 2015.

Iran signed the nuclear deal in 2015 with the United States, as well as Britain, China, France, Germany and Russian Federation.

"Iran's interests in important areas and issues relevant to the JCPOA, like oil, gas, and petrochemicals sales, as well as banking relations should be clearly and explicitly defined and guaranteed", Rouhani said.

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The deal was negotiated between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States - plus Germany.

He made the remarks in an interview with Fox News, after U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal on Tuesday. After years of crippling economic sanctions, the deal opened Iran to business with the U.S. and Europe, and companies around the world began doing business in Iran.

They include retaliatory sanctions, allowing the European Investment Bank to invest directly in Iran and co-ordinating euro-denominated credit lines from European governments.

Trump has said the U.S. would be reinstating the anti-Iran bans lifted under the JCPOA and also slapping the "highest level" of economic sanctions on Tehran, prompting anger among other parties to the Iran deal, which unanimously denounced Washington and vowed to stay committed to their side of the deal. In the past, the European Union has also lodged complaints at the World Trade Organization. If the USA punishes European companies for doing business with Iran, foreign companies will likely walk away from Iran.

Zarif told Wang that maintaining the nuclear deal will serve Iran's interest. "We will try to uphold our side of the bargain".

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The White House also has bluntly warned Iran of unspecified consequences should it resume nuclear activities prohibited under the agreement.

Zarif's has since embarked on a whirlwind global tour, visiting both Russian Federation and China, the two other signatory nations, in a bid to bolster support.

The Trump administration portrayed its rejection of the nuclear agreement as a response, in part, to Tehran's interventions in the Middle East, underpinning Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's tough line towards Iran.

"So far we have had very positive signals from signatories of the deal. but what is important is for Europeans to find a way to protect their investors from United States penalties (when they invest in Iran)", a senior Iranian diplomat said. "We don't have much to threaten the Americans".

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