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Iran on a blitz to salvage accord

May 16,2018 - Last updated at May 16,2018

It appears that Iran is determined to salvage the 2015 nuclear deal from the fatal blow it has received when US President Donald Trump decided to walk away from it last week.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is on a diplomatic blitz to sound out the other partners in the deal on their willingness to stay on board and maintain their trade commitments to Iran despite the US withdrawal from it.

Zarif’s first trip took him to Beijing, where he met with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi and seemed to have obtained assurances that China will maintain its commitment to the deal.

Moscow is scheduled to be Zarif's next visit for the same purpose to be followed by a visit to Brussels. No doubt other capitals of the other countries parties to the deal will be on Zarif's itinerary.

Tehran is already on record as having decided to keep the door open on the fate of the nuclear deal by signalling that it is "ready for all options". Iran is also on record as having served notice on the remaining parties to the nuclear deal that if the nuclear deal is to continue, the interests of the people of Iran must be assured. By that, Iran meant that unless Europe provides solid guarantees that it will maintain trade ties despite the renewed US sanctions, Iran would resume uranium enrichment.

Continued trade with Iran by the other parties to the nuclear deal is, therefore, the name of the game and how the UK, Germany and France in particular are able to maintain trade ties with Iran after the US abrogation of the deal is the number one issue on the Iranian agenda.

In the final analysis, the future of the deal still rests in the hands of the US and depends on the extent of the European non-submission to the US dictates and its renewed sanctions on Iran.

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