Struggling to save nuclear deal, Iran and world powers meet

GETTYPresident Hassan Rouhani warned Iran could soon halt exports of oil to neighbouring countries

From Iran's point view under the terms of the agreement, the United States withdrawal would be compensated by the lifting of global sanctions, together with the prospect of fresh investment.

In calls with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said since the U.S. withdrawal "Iran has been dealing with economic issues and problems in banking relations and oil" and that foreign companies were "skeptical" about continuing their business, Iran's semi-official Mehr news agency reported.

The Vienna meeting of foreign ministers will discuss the European offer that aims to persuade Iran to stick with the 2015 deal, a European diplomat said without specifying the measures.

"We have been clear with countries and companies around the world that we are bringing severe economic pressure on Iran until the regime changes its destabilizing policies", State Department official Brian Hook said at a press conference on Monday.

However, US President Donald Trump has urged the IAEA to widen its inspections to Iran's military sites despite his decision on May 8 to pull out of the deal.

Mogherini would chair Friday's meeting.

"EU is in the process of updating the EU "Blocking Statute" in order to protect EU Member States' companies and of updating the European Investment Bank's external lending mandate to cover Iran", the statement noted.

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He said he did not think this round of talks would end negatively but it was likely more negotiations would be needed on the issue.

He added, however, that Europe had only made pledges so far.

Trump in May slammed the nuclear accord signed under his predecessor Barack Obama as "horrible" and "defective at its core", earning applause from Iran's regional rivals Saudi Arabia and Israel. Several major firms - including France's Total and Peugeot, and Russia's Lukoil - have said they are preparing to leave.

Iranians have complained that the hoped-for rise in foreign investment and trade after the deal has not materialised. "We expect a clear action plan from Europe with a timetable so it can compensate for the USA exit from the deal". The rial currency has fallen, prices have risen and the country has been hit by street protests and strikes.

"After the withdrawal of the United States, which we can't understand, we face a hard situation", he added, but he stressed that "we want to make clear to Iran that it will still gain economic benefits through this agreement".

Maas told reporters that it's not possible to compensate all the losses of Iran because of the companies leaving Iran out of fear to lose the business with America.

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