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The New Arab

Kerry on private mission to save Iran deal

John Kerry helped broker the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran [Getty]

Date of publication: 5 May, 2018

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The former US secretary of state is reportedly engaged in some shadow diplomacy to rescue his signature foreign policy achievement.
Former US secretary of state John Kerry is on a private mission to salvage the Iran nuclear deal in a series of meetings with foreign officials, according to a Boston Globe report.

As President Donald Trump seeks to scrap the 2015 nuclear agreement, Kerry met with Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif at the United Nations in New York last month to discuss ways to rescue the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) - the formal name for the Iran deal.

Kerry has also met and spoken with several European officials, including German president Frank-Walter Steinmeier, and spoke by phone with Federica Mogherini, the European Union's top foreign affairs official.

The former secretary of state under Barack Obama also reportedly met with French President Emmanuel Macron, both in New York and in Paris. The premier was on a similar mission during his state visit to Washington last month.

Trump has signaled he will withdraw from the agreement by May 12 if it is not renegotiated and changed. 

The landmark 2015 agreement, which Kerry helped to broker, saw Iran agree to freeze its nuclear programme in exchange for the lifting of crippling economic sanctions.

Kerry warned in March that a new deal would take "decades" to renegotiate.

"If we pull back from what they have done, it will be 30 years before another president will ever sit down with Iranians to negotiate," Kerry told the World Affairs Council at Villanova University in Philadelphia.

Iran, which according to the UN atomic watchdog has been abiding by the deal since it came into force in January 2016, has repeatedly rejected plans to amend the agreement.

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