Iran, Russia, China, EU 'Will Work to Salvage Nuclear Deal'

Iran, Russia, China, EU 'Will Work to Salvage Nuclear Deal'

European Union leaders agreed on Wednesday to try to keep the Iran nuclear deal alive and maintain their reviving economic cooperation with Tehran after U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the pact.

Washington has determined the accord does little or nothing to stop Iran's ballistic missile programme or interference in Middle East conflicts.

"Everyone in the European Union shares the view that the agreement is not flawless, but that we should remain in this agreement and conduct further negotiations with Iran on the basis of other issues such as the ballistic missile programme", Merkel said as she arrived for the summit.

Danish oil product shipping operator Maersk Tankers said it would wind down its customer agreements in Iran by November, while German insurer Allianz said on Tuesday it was preparing to wind down Iran-related business. "European sovereignty is the guarantor of worldwide stability", he said.

This effort would run alongside work to "pursue negotiations on a vital broader agreement", Macron said.

But the 28 EU leaders did not make any quick decisions during their first meeting on the matter since Trump quit the accord earlier this month, highlighting how US clout in worldwide trade and finance limits the Europeans' scope for action.

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After the summit, Kim became the first North Korean leader to step into South Korea since the end of the Korean War in 1953. He also emphasized that North Korea is "concentrating all their efforts" on economic development.

"We do have the means and resources, we will use them, let's not kid ourselves they are only limited resources, but we will make full use of all the means that are available to us", said Juncker.

But the reach of the U.S. financial system, the dominance of the dollar and the presence of European companies' operations in the United States all weaken any potential EU measures.

European Council President Donald Tusk (right) speaks with Luxembourg's Prime Minister Xavier Bettel during a round table meeting of EU and Western Balkan heads of state at the National Palace of Culture in Sofia on May 17, 2018.

Total said it would wind down operations linked to the South Pars gas venture before November 4, unless it were granted a specific project waiver by the U.S. authorities, with the support of the French and European authorities.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras meets with Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev at the EU-Western Balkans Summit in Sofia, Bulgaria.

The summit is supposed to be centered on the topic of improving the links between the bloc and the Western Balkans, but US decision to back out of the JCPOA threw a wrench into the EU's plans. These would include: continued sale of Iran's oil and gas products; effective banking transactions with Iran; continued multimodal transport relations; new European Union investments in Iran; and a blocking mechanism to nullify United States sanctions on European Union firms.

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