Austria discusses Iran diplomat case with visiting Rouhani

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The Trump administration's demand that all countries quit importing Iranian oil outright starting in November won't just be a tough sell diplomatically - it also threatens to derail the USA administration's own effort to push down high crude prices. "Companies will stop working with Iran because they understand they will lose American market", he said.

"We are not looking to grant licenses or waivers, because doing so would substantially reduce pressure on Iran and this is a campaign of imposing pressure on Iran.We are prepared to work with countries that are reducing their imports on a case-by-case basis, but as with our other sanctions, we are not looking to grant waivers or licenses", said Brian Hook, Director of Policy Planning at the State Department, on July 2, when asked specifically about concessions for India. However, Japan has so far refused to cut Iranian oil imports.

President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the accord in May and moved to reinstate economic sanctions against Tehran.

Japanese officials said last week, after US diplomats pressed the country to cut back its purchases, that they were still deliberating.

"These are exaggerated statements that can never be implemented", Rouhani told reporters in Bern, after holding talks with Swiss authorities on a range of issues, including the nuclear deal.

Rouhani was on Wednesday due in Vienna, where the 2015 nuclear deal was signed, to meet Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and President Alexander Van der Bellen.

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The other parties to the agreement say they remain committed to the deal so long as Iran is honoring it.

Hanegbi's remarks came before senior diplomats from Iran, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russian Federation meet in Vienna on Friday, aiming to safeguard a pact reached in 2015. This U.S. government will not stay in office forever.

However the U.S.' decision to walk out of the multilateral nuclear agreement with Iran and re-imposition of sanctions by November has cast a shadow on its future engagement.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif suggested the arrests, which were announced as he and President Hassan Rohani began the trip, were a "false flag" operation.

Other signatory countries are now with Rouhani in Vienna to discuss how the deal can be maintained.

"For now, that's the plan", an European Union source said.

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Iran had struck the JCPoA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) deal with the USA, the UK, Russia, China, France and Germany after years of negotiations.

The Iranian leader added that Iran will outlast the current American administration.

The EU's foreign service, the EEAS, was not immediately available for comment on the meeting.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has pledged his country will stand firm against threats by the United States to halt Iranian oil shipments.

But so far it has proven hard to offset the impact of continued USA sanctions, with European firms reluctant to risk far-reaching US financial penalties to do business in Iran. On Saturday, Trump wrote on Twitter that he had received assurances from King Salman of Saudi Arabia that the kingdom will increase oil production, "maybe up to 2,000,000 barrels" in response to turmoil in Iran and Venezuela.

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