Iran foreign minister scrambles to China and Russian Federation to save nuclear deal

Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif touched down in Moscow on Monday morning as part of a series of worldwide diplomatic meetings aimed at saving the Iran nuclear deal following the United States' withdrawal.

Upon his arrival, Mr. Zarif met with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi.

Zarif arrived in Beijing on Sunday for the first stop of his tour, ahead of visiting Moscow and Brussels in the coming days.

"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.

State news agency IRNA confirmed Zarif departed in the early hours of Sunday morning.

After their meeting, Zarif and Wang hailed the "comprehensive strategic partnership" between their countries, with the Chinese minister saying: "I hope and believe that these visits to multiple countries will. help protect Iran's legitimate national interests and peace and stability in the region".

Trump pulled out on May 8, claiming that Iran had violated the "spirit" of the deal by financing militant violence in the Middle East and by continuing to test ballistic missiles. The exacerbation of relations between Israel and Iran over Syria has sparked Moscow's concern, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

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Meanwhile, Lavrov said that Russian Federation and Europe had a duty to "jointly defend their legal interests" in terms of the Iran deal.

Zarif and Mogherini also conferred on plans and arrangements for a Tuesday meeting in Brussels between them and the three European countries foreign ministers, FNA said.

Russian Federation is trying to keep the landmark 2015 accord alive in the wake of U.S. President Donald Trump's decision, pushing it into rare cooperation with Europe. As President of the Republic, we are ready for all options. The challenge for Rouhani is to maintain his diplomatic efforts in the face of mounting challenges at home, where Iranians were already suffering high unemployment and inflation before Trump's decision.

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

Khamenei said this week he is highly doubtful that Europe will provide the "real guarantees" needed for Iran to stay in the nuclear deal.

He said: "What we are going to do tomorrow in Brussels is we are going to have a conversation about what we can do to help United Kingdom firms, European firms have some confidence that they can still do business".

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