Iran confirms report of Kerry-Zarif meeting to salvage nuke deal
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Iran confirms report of Kerry-Zarif meeting to salvage nuke deal

Former US secretary of state and Iranian FM met at UN; no talks held with current administration officials

US Secretary of State John Kerry (right) poses for a photo opportunity prior to a meeting with Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (left) at the UN in New York, April 19, 2016. (AFP/Don Emmert)
US Secretary of State John Kerry (right) poses for a photo opportunity prior to a meeting with Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (left) at the UN in New York, April 19, 2016. (AFP/Don Emmert)

Iran on Monday confirmed a recent meeting in New York between former US secretary of state John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to discuss ways of salvaging the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers that US President Trump is expected to walk away from on Tuesday.

But the semi-official Fars news agency said Zarif had not discussed the issue with any current US administration officials.

“We don’t see the US just as Mr. Trump; the United States is not just the current ruling administration and there are many figures who have different views on international and regional issues,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said, adding that Kerry was knowledgeable about the issues and, while no longer in government, was an influential figure.

The Boston Globe reported Friday that the meeting had taken place at the United Nations on April 22 and was the second meeting between the two on the matter in the span of two months.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi briefs journalists at a press conference in Tehran on August 22, 2016.
(YouTube screenshot)

The Globe said that Kerry, one of the chief architects of the 2015 accord, was determined to save the agreement and had met recently with a number of top officials, including German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and French President Emmanuel Macron.

Trump is fast approaching his self-imposed May 12 deadline for walking away from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as the deal is formally known. In January, he gave Congress and European allies an ultimatum: they would either amend the pact to his liking or he would renew sanctions against Tehran.

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