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World powers back Iran oil exports despite US sanctions threat

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Top diplomats from Iran and five world powers sat down in Vienna on Friday to hash out what steps are needed to preserve the nuclear deal with Tehran following the withdrawal of the United States. Further sanctions on oil and transactions with the central bank of Iran will come into effect November 6.

Rouhani had Thursday told French President Emmanuel Macron by phone that the Europe-led offer of economic measures did "not meet all our demands", Iran's state news agency IRNA reported.

"We all have in mind a timeframe that is dictated by USA sanctions, meaning measures need to be carried out before the sanctions".

Speaking also on July 6, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said world powers would not be able to fully compensate for companies leaving Iran due to new USA sanctions.

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini reads a statement after a meeting in Vienna, Austria, on July 6, 2018. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

"The participants recognized that, in return for the implementation by Iran of its nuclear-related commitments, the lifting of sanctions, including the economic dividends arising from it, constitutes an essential part of the JCPOA", Mogherini said.

He said the European powers but also Russian Federation and China were working on coming up with a financial mechanism to mitigate planned tough US sanctions.

Iran's remaining partners in the JCPOA vowed on Friday to keep the energy exporter plugged into the global economy.

In late June, Iran's Press TV cited Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi as saying that the UK, Germany, France and the European Union had vowed to put forward a package of practical economic measures to offset the United States withdrawal, including those related to oil sales and transit.

"We must put in place measures that allow Iran to trade as long as it meets its commitments", he told RTL radio in France, cautioning that the new steps may take until November when numerous sanctions take effect.

The US sanctions would include a universal ban on Iran over buying or acquiring US dollars as well as restrictions over purchases of crude oil from the country and investing in its oil sector projects.

Also on Thursday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi urged all the remaining parties to stick to their obligations under the nuclear accord.

In light of Washington's push on sanctions, European leaders have said they would do their utmost of maintain business ties with Iran but it would be hard for them to make any "guarantees".

On May 12 Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says Iran is preparing to resume "industrial-scale" uranium enrichment, limited under the accord, unless Europe provides solid guarantees to maintain trade ties reinstated under the deal.

Even though Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that the U.S. actions "de-facto disrupted the agreement", thus giving Iran a right to withdraw from it as well, the Islamic Republic would not exercise this right, according to Lavrov.

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