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Take concrete action to save N-deal: Iran to China & Russia

Take concrete action to save N-deal: Iran to China & Russia

Beijing: Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Friday urged China and Russia to take "concrete action" to safeguard the 2015 nuclear deal as he warned of a "dangerous" situation amid rising tensions with the US.

Tensions have ratcheted up with the US deploying an aircraft carrier group and B-52 bombers to the Gulf last week over alleged threats from Iran.

On a visit to Beijing, Zarif said he would talk with Chinese officials about "bilateral ties and the very dangerous issues that are ongoing in our region today", according to a video published on the Iranian foreign ministry website. Washington has deployed more troops in the Gulf, one of the world's most strategic waterways, in what US officials said was a reaction to photographs showing Iran had loaded missiles onto small traditional boats.

On Wednesday the US State Department ordered the evacuation of most personnel from the US embassy and consulate in Iraq, fearing an attack by Iranian-directed Shiite militias.

Iran on Thursday rejected negotiations with the US, but said it was showing "maximum restraint".

Amid escalating tensions in the region, Zarif has called on the international community to save the nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA.

Iran signed the deal with China, Russia, Germany, Britain, France and the United States. International sanctions were eased in return for curbs on Tehran's nuclear programme.

But last year President Donald Trump walked away from the accord. The US has since then slapped sweeping sanctions on Iran.

"So far the international community has mostly released statements rather than taking action," Zarif said.

"If the international community and other JCPOA member countries and our friends in the JCPOA like China and Russia want to keep this achievement, it is required that they make sure the Iranian people enjoy the benefits of the JCPOA with concrete actions," he added.

Zarif said last week that only Russia and China had supported Iran and helped it keep the nuclear deal going, and accused other parties to the agreement of letting Tehran down.

Agencies

Agencies

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