EU Minsters Seek to Preserve Iran Deal in Helsinki, Says U.K.

© Reuters. EU Minsters Seek to Preserve Iran Deal in Helsinki, Says U.K.

(Bloomberg) — European Union foreign ministers will meet Friday in Helsinki to find ways to keep the Iran nuclear deal alive and protect commercial shipping in the Persian Gulf, the U.K. said.

U.K. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab will meet his French and German counterparts and Federica Mogherini, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, at the Gymnich –- two days of informal talks on shared foreign policy challenges.

European countries want to salvage the agreement that U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of in 2018. The stalemate continued Tuesday when Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani rebuffed an invitation from Trump to meet that had been made a day earlier by the U.S. president as he was leaving the Group of Seven meeting in Biarritz, France.

Iran again pushed back against the idea of talks with Washington while the U.S. remains outside the deal and maintains sanctions on Tehran.

Raab said the talks would seek to build on momentum from the G-7, which was attended by Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.

“The nuclear deal is the only deal on the table that prevents Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, and we will continue working together to encourage Iran to uphold the agreement in full,” Raab said, according to a statement from the U.K. Foreign Office.

“We also need the broadest international support possible to tackle the threats to international shipping in the Strait of Hormuz.”

Raab said he would also raise concerns about the tension in Hong Kong, urging “peaceful and constructive dialog, which respects Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy.”

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