Luxembourg Throws Its Weight behind Iran Nuclear Deal: FM

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"We all agreed that we have a relative in intensive care and we all want to get him or her out of intensive care as quickly as possible", European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini told reporters after the 90-minute meeting.

Iran's foreign minister, Mohammed Javad Zarif, met with his EU, British, French and German counterparts in Brussels today.

"We reaffirmed together our resolve to continue to implement the nuclear deal in all its parts, in good faith, and in a constructive atmosphere, and we agreed to continue to consult intensively at all levels and also with other remaining participants of the Joint Commission to the JCPOA", Mogherini said.

In one of a series of meetings, foreign ministers from Britain, France and Germany - signatories of the 2015 deal to stop Iran developing nuclear weapons - were to hold talks with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, amid concerns that the sanctions will also damage European business interests.

Europe and Iran have sought a united front to save the nuclear deal that US President Donald Trump abandoned last week.

Not only has Trump's walkout of the deal imperiled its future, the threat of sanctions could also trickle down to European companies doing business with Iran and further hurt trans-Atlantic ties.

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"I'm not the national security decision-maker", Bolton said, adding that Trump "makes the decision and the advice that I give him is between us".

"I cannot talk about legal or economic guarantees but I can talk about serious, determined, immediate work from the European side", Mogherini said. "That is clear to us all", he said.

While Tehran was shunned by the worldwide community in the 1990s, Moscow agreed to resume the construction of the Bushehr Iranian nuclear plant that Germany had abandoned.

After the President Donald Trump announced his withdrawal from the Iran deal, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said his decision was "disappointing".

The US has given all firms, not just European ones, between three and six months to wind down their business dealings with Iran, with the timeframe dependent on the nature of the business.

Tehran is being given assurances that European governments will seek to protect companies doing business in Iran from renewed United States sanctions, as foreign ministers prepare to meet in Brussels to salvage the nuclear deal.

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In a pre-emptive strike on Tuesday, the United States treasury imposed new sanctions on the governor of the Iranian central bank, Valiollah Seif, and the Iraq-based Al-Bilad Islamic Bank - in both cases for allegedly moving millions of dollars to Hezbollah on behalf of Iran's Revolutionary Guards.

But, she added, "with the nuclear deal in place we have better chances to address any other issues we have to address with Iran".

EU foreign-policy chief Federica Mogherini said on May 15 that European commissioners will first discuss whether the EU's 1990s-era sanctions-blocking measures can be used to protect European business interests in Iran before leaders at the summit take up the matter.

Russian Federation and Iran also sought to strengthen their business ties long before the 2015 agreement, despite global sanctions in place.

However, on Tuesday the USA hit Iran's central bank governor with sanctions.

German exports to Iran totaled almost 3 billion euros ($2.3 billion) in 2017, while French exports soared from 562 million euros ($670 million) in 2015 to 1.5 billion ($1.8 billion) in 2017 and oil giant Total has pledged to invest some $5 billion in the South Pars gas field.

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