Iran's Zarif says European Union meetings must be turned into action

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"It is going to be very hard for us to preserve the economic benefits of the Iran deal", one senior European diplomat said.

Zarif said little to reporters Tuesday but suggested he wanted to discuss the deaths of dozens of Palestinians in Gaza as well as the nuclear deal, which U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from last week.

She also expressed hope that preserving the nuclear deal may pave the way for solving other issues, including Tehran's missile program.

And he warned that Iran could yet follow in Washington's footsteps in withdrawing from the 2015 accord.

Zarif's visit to the Russian capital Moscow is part of his global tour, as an effort to save the Iran nuclear deal.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini insisted European powers were serious about salvaging the deal.

Iran and its European partners agreed Tuesday to work on "practical solutions" aimed at saving the Iran nuclear deal after the United States chose to withdraw, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said following talks in Brussels.

"If the remaining five countries in the deal live up to their commitments and guarantee Iran's interests, the agreement will survive", he said on Sunday during a meeting with visiting Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena.

He met his European counterparts in Brussels yesterday.

"We started our work to get assurances from Europe".

"We work on concrete, practical solutions".

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The United States threatened on Sunday to impose sanctions on European companies that do business with Iran, as the remaining participants in the Iran nuclear accord stiffened their resolve to keep that agreement operational.

But last week US President Donald Trump announced he was leaving the deal and reimposing sanctions.

German exports to Iran totalled almost €3bn (£2.6bn) in 2017, while French exports soared from €562m in 2015 to €1.5bn in 2017.

European diplomats acknowledged that the EU support, however honest, risked looking hollow after Trump reimposed an array of wide sanctions last week on Iran that will hit European companies investing there.

Cars of the Iranian delegation are parked outside a building of the Diaoyutai state guesthouse in Beijing on May 13, 2018. Zarif's has since embarked on a whirlwind global tour, visiting both Russian Federation and China, the two other signatory nations, in a bid to bolster support.

But the European Union officials were hopeful that diplomacy and the promise of economic benefits could keep Iran in the fold of a nuclear deal they see as essential to security.

He was due to hold talks later in Brussels with the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany.

Trump cast the agreement into jeopardy a week ago when he abruptly pulled the U.S. out.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and French President Emmanuel Macron, left, at the Palace of Versailles, near Paris, France, Monday, May 29, 2017.

The president's bluster is bolstered by the unsafe "yes" men now by his side - hawkish John Bolton, President Trump's new national security adviser, who in the past has called for bombing Iran and North Korea, and hardliner Mike Pompeo, a former Tea Party member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Kansas who President Trump recently shifted from head of the Central Intelligence Agency to secretary of state after dumping Rex Tillerson.

But while Pompeo talked up the prospect of renewed coordination with America's allies, another top aide reminded Europe its companies could face sanctions if they continue to do business with the Middle Eastern power.