EU tells Iran it will stick by nuclear deal despite US withdrawal

EU tells Iran it will stick by nuclear deal despite US withdrawal
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The European Union's (EU) top energy official on Saturday sought to reassure Tehran that Europe is committed to the Iran nuclear deal despite the United States's exit earlier this month.

“We have sent a message to our Iranian friends that as long as they are sticking to the [nuclear] agreement the Europeans will ... fulfill their commitment. And they said the same thing on the other side,” the European commissioner for energy and climate, Miguel Arias Canete, said at a news conference, according to Reuters.

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The EU, once the largest buyer of Iranian oil, also hopes to increase trade with Iran, Arias Canete said.

“We will try to intensify our flows of trade that have been very positive for the Iranian economy,” he said.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpAl Gore: Trump has had 'less of an impact on environment so far than I feared' Trump claims tapes of him saying the 'n-word' don't exist Trump wanted to require staffers to get permission before writing books: report MORE announced earlier this month that the U.S. would withdraw from the Obama-era deal, which sought to curb Iran's nuclear capabilities in exchange for lifting sanctions on the country.

Iran’s nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi said Tehran hoped that the EU would rescue the deal after Trump decided to withdraw from the agreement.

"We hope their efforts materialize," Salehi said at a news conference, according to Reuters. "America’s actions ... show that it is not a trustworthy country in international dealings."

Salehi has said that if the European nations fail to salvage the deal, Iran could pursue a number of options, including resuming their 20 percent uranium enrichment, Reuters reported.

European nations moved quickly this month to salvage the nuclear agreement after Trump followed through on his campaign promise to withdraw from the deal. 

However, without U.S. involvement, the EU nations have admitted they will have difficulty ensuring all the guarantees Iran wants, Reuters noted.