Iran foreign minister to meet counterpart in Moscow on May 14

Iran deal Trump

Iran reiterated that no provisions or timeframes in the 2015 agreement "are negotiable in any manner".

China buys the largest share of Iranian oil, and most of the rest is sold to the other top Asian consumers, Japan and South Korea, which have also indicated that they will continue business with Iran despite the US decision.

Deputy Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov met his Iranian counterpart Abbas Araghchi in Tehran, where the two sides "agreed to continue close coordination in this area". Moscow, he said, could use its influence on Tehran to that end.

Additionally on Thursday, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also strongly urged the countries that oversaw the accord to "develop steps that would preserve this document that is important for regional stability".

Lavrov's comments come after Chancellor Angela Merkel said last month that the planned Nord Stream 2 pipeline can not go ahead "without clarity on the future transit role of Ukraine". The grouping includes Kazakhstan, Belarus, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan. In exchange, worldwide sanctions imposed on Iran because of its alleged pursuit of a nuclear arsenal have been lifted.

Ireland's Sam Bennett wins stage seven of the Giro d'Italia
I was hoping not today and that I would get a little bit more confidence from the race, but there is still time. Bennett is the first Irish victor of a Giro d'Italia stage since Stephen Roche in 1987.

The phone calls came a few days after US President Donald Trump defied protests and last-minute lobbying by his European partners and unilaterally made a decision to withdraw from the historic nuclear accord, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and impose new sanctions on Tehran.

The EU's top diplomat, Federica Mogherini, is to host a meeting of the German, French and UK foreign ministers next Tuesday in Brussels, where they will discuss the future of the Iran nuclear deal following the withdrawal of the United States earlier this week, the European External Action Service said in a statement on Friday.

Mogherini said Friday that "our determination is to keep this agreement in place".

"It might even be easier for us on the economic front because we won't have any limits on economic cooperation with Iran".

She added that it is "crucial that there is no further escalation".

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