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Iran's Ghadr-F rocket and a huge portrait of Khomeini in 2016
Image: picture-alliance/AP Photo/V. Salemi

Report: Germany meeting four nations on Iran deal

May 20, 2018

In a bid to save the Iran nuclear accord, Germany, France, Britain, Russia and China will meet in Vienna this week. But one major player in the deal will not be attending.


Germany and four other nations will soon meet to discuss how to proceed with the Iran nuclear deal, German newspaper Welt am Sonntag reported on Sunday.

The international community is scrambling to save a deal that keeps Iran from developing nuclear weapons after US President Donald Trump withdrew from the pact.

Read more: European allies struggle to curb impact of US sanctions

What the paper reported

  • Germany, France, Britain, Russia and China will meet in Vienna in the next week, led by senior European Union diplomat Helga Schmid.
  • The United States will not attend. It was unclear if Iran would take part in the meeting.
  • They will discuss a new agreement similar to the 2015 deal, while also limiting Tehran's ballistic missile program and its regional role.
  • The new agreement may provide financial aid to Iran.
  • Diplomats are also expected to discuss EU measures to defend against US sanctions, which would have "at best only very limited positive effects on Iran's economy."

Read more: EU to reactivate 'blocking statute' against US sanctions on Iran for European firms

German chancellor expresses EU support for Iran nuclear deal at meeting with Putin.

Bringing Trump on board

"We have to get away from the name "Vienna Nuclear Agreement" and add a few additional elements — only then will President Trump agree and lift the sanctions," a top EU diplomat told the paper.

No immediate comment was available from the German Foreign Ministry.

Read more: Iran, EU aiming to keep the nuclear deal alive

EU unites against Trump

Commitment: The planned meeting shows Europe is committed to ensuring the longevity of the Iran deal, even if it means moving away from the US and working with Moscow, Beijing and Tehran. The EU has said it would be disastrous if the deal falls through.

What is the nuclear deal? Under the 2015 deal, Iran agreed to curb its nuclear program in return for the lifting of most Western sanctions, but the deal did not include Iran's missile program or its support for armed groups in the Middle East. After sanctions were lifted, the Islamic Republic more than doubled its oil exports, which helped lift the country out of a deep recession.

Strengthening trade: The European Commission on Friday began work on a series of measures to shield European companies investing in Iran and support Tehran's economy, in the hope of salvaging the Iran deal. The EU hopes to save the nuclear accord by pumping money into Tehran as long as it complies with the 2015 deal to prevent it from developing an atomic weapon. The EU's energy chief sought to reassure Iran on Saturday that the 28-member bloc remained committed to salvaging the nuclear deal, and strengthening trade with Tehran.

Read more: Iran deal: The European Union's ugly options


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