Russia, France reiterate commitment to Iran deal: Kremlin

Press TV- Russian President Vladimir Putin and his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, have confirmed their commitment to preserving the 2015 multinational nuclear deal with Iran despite the US withdrawal.

In a phone conversation on Tuesday, Putin and Macron “paid special attention to the situation surrounding Washington’s unilateral withdrawal” from the agreement, officially known as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the Kremlin said in a statement.

Putin and Macron also “exchanged views on issues concerning ways to resolve the Syrian conflict,” the statement reads.

Additionally, the Russian president informed Macron about his meeting with Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Yukiya Amano, held in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi on May 14.

Separately, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Tuesday it was possible to discuss the future of JCPOA without the participation of the US.

The Russian diplomat also said that the US decision to leave the deal was “rash” amid the nuclear talks on the Korean Peninsula.

US President Donald Trump last week announced Washington’s withdrawal from the JCPOA despite earlier international warnings and pleas for the White House not to attack yet another international agreement.

Trump has said the US would be reinstating the anti-Iran bans lifted under the JCPOA and also slapping the “highest level” of economic sanctions on Tehran, prompting anger among other parties to the Iran deal, which unanimously denounced Washington and vowed to keep their end of the deal.

Reacting to Trump’s decision, Tehran said it would for now stay in the deal, pending talks with Russia, China and the three European signatories before coming up with a decision on the future of the accord.

Top Iranian officials, including Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani, have said Europeans must give the required guarantees in order for Tehran to stay in the deal.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is currently on a diplomatic tour to help save the deal and ensure Iran’s interests.

Earlier in the week, Zarif traveled to China and Russia and discussed the JCPOA with his Chinese and Russian counterparts.

He is now in Brussels for talks with the EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, and his counterparts from the three European parties.

In the aftermath of Washington’s pullout, Europeans are seeking ways to protect the interests of their firms doing business in Iran and help them escape the brunt of the upcoming US sanctions.