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3 July, 2018 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 2 July, 2018 09:26:07 PM
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Rouhani visits Europe to rally support

AFP
Rouhani visits Europe to rally support

TEHRAN: President Hassan Rouhani departed Iran yesterday for a trip to Europe billed as of "prime importance" after the US pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers, reports AFP.

Rouhani was set to visit Switzerland and Austria as part of Tehran's ongoing efforts to secure Europe's continued support for the landmark agreement.

The Iranian president left Tehran on an early afternoon flight and was due to land in Zurich in the mid-afternoon, Iranian state media reported.

His delegation will travel on to Vienna Wednesday, according to authorities in Austria, where the historic nuclear deal was signed in July 2015.

The trip will be an "opportunity to talk about the future of the (nuclear) agreement," Rouhani told reporters at Tehran's Mehrabad Airport before boarding his flight, state television showed.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is also scheduled to hold talks with Swiss officials in Bern.

The visit comes nearly two months after US President Donald Trump unilaterally pulled out of the agreement, to the ire of the other signatories -- China, France, Germany, Britain and Russia -- which along with the European Union have continued to back the accord.

Rouhani's European trip will be of "prime importance" as it could "provide a more precise picture of cooperation between Iran and Europe," Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghassemi said in comments carried by the semi-official ISNA news agency on Saturday.

Austria on Sunday took over the European Union's six-month rotating presidency, while Switzerland represents US interests in Iran owing to the absence of diplomatic relations between Washington and Tehran.

Vienna, where the deal was signed, is also the home of the United Nations' nuclear watchdog, the IAEA, which monitors Iran's compliance with the accord.

The nuclear deal has been the cornerstone of Rouhani's policy of greater openness with the West, and the US departure has seen him severely criticised by ultra-conservatives at home.

Even before Trump's decision, Iranians had long complained that the hoped-for uptick in foreign investment after the deal had not materialised.

 

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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