Iran foreign minister scrambles to China and Russian Federation to save nuclear deal

Europe Steps Up Efforts to Salvage Iran Accord Ditched by Trump

Mohammad Javad Zarif will later fly to Moscow and Brussels to consult with the remaining signatories to the 2015 agreement.

But he added: "If the nuclear deal is to continue, the interests of the people of Iran must be assured".

President Donald Trump repeated a misleading claim about Iran's military budget Saturday, saying it had increased by more than 40 percent since the negotiation of the Iran nuclear deal.

Before leaving Tehran, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini in a telephone conversation discussed the fate of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) after the U.S. pullout, according to Fars. Tehran has repeatedly said that it would never accept re-negotiating the nuclear deal.

However, US President Donald Trump, a long-time critic of the agreement, on Tuesday defied last-ditch efforts by European allies and announced Washington's withdrawal from the deal.

In the past week, it has slapped a new series of sanctions against Iran.

The EU, which along with Germany, France, Britain, Russia, China and the United States, signed the nuclear accord with Iran, does have some steps it can take to shield European business in Iran.

Zarif further censured the United States under Trump for developing the habit of voicing opposition to worldwide deals and regulations.

Some analysts, however, accused him of doubling down on hawkish policies towards Iran.

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One of Trump's most repeated criticisms is that the deal expires in a few short years.

After China, the Iranian foreign minister was scheduled to fly to Moscow for talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov and then Brussels to consult with British, French and German foreign ministers as well as European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini.

President Trump has discussed with President Macron in France with Chancellor Merkel in Germany with Prime Minister May in England to move beyond the deal. "We will all save it together".

In Paris earlier Tuesday, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire held talks with French businesses which have important contracts in Iran.

Before leaving Iran, Zarif published a government statement via Twitter criticising Trump's "extremist administration" for abandoning "an accord recognised as a victory of diplomacy by the global community".

China's Foreign Ministry said talks included an "exchange of views with relevant parties on the developments of the Iranian nuclear issue". "Indeed I would argue that they thought they could act with impunity", he added.

"But it really is a question mark as to what Europe can do for them in the face of ..."

Despite the USA exit, Britain and Iran expressed their commitment to ensuring that the accord is upheld, according to a statement released by British Prime Minister Theresa May's office.

To suggest that somehow the withdrawal from the JCPOA is driving the Iranian conduct that has taken place during the JCPOA in Yemen, the rise in Hezbollah, all of those things took place during the JCPOA.