European, Iranian officials meet to discuss nuclear deal without US

European, Iranian officials meet to discuss nuclear deal without US
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European foreign ministers met with their Iranian counterparts Tuesday as the remaining countries in the multination Iran nuclear agreement seek to preserve it following the Trump administration's withdrawal.

The New York Times reports that Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met with European officials in Brussels in an attempt to preserve the 2015 deal negotiated by the Obama administration aimed at curtailing Iran's nuclear weapons program.

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In a statement after the meeting, the European Union's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said the parties "regretted" the Trump administration's decision, but stated that the remaining countries were committed to the deal.

"We, together, regretted the withdrawal of the United States from the Iran nuclear deal and we recognized that the lifting of nuclear-related sanctions and the normalization of trade and economic relations with Iran constitute essential parts of the agreement," she said.

"We stressed the commitment we all share to ensure that this will continue to be delivered and we agreed to this end to deepen our dialogue at all levels."

Zarif's meetings with European officials follow meetings the Iranian minister had with officials from China and Russia, two other nations in the agreement, over the last few days. Iranian state television reported on Saturday that Zarif would first stop in Beijing and then in Moscow before heading to Europe.

“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,” a state TV report said, according to Reuters.

President Trump announced that the U.S. would exit the deal last week at a ceremony at the White House. 

“Today’s action sends a critical message: the United States no longer makes empty threats,” he said. "[The deal] didn’t bring calm, it didn’t bring peace, and it never will.”