LONDON - Five world powers agreed with Iran on Friday to forge ahead with negotiations with the country and maintain its ability to export gas and oil as they seek to preserve a nuclear deal with Tehran despite the withdrawal of the United States.
European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini told reporters that top diplomats from Germany, Britain, France, Russia and China reaffirmed their commitment to the 2015 deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, "which is in the security interest of all".
"The participants recognised that, in return for the implementation by Iran of its nuclear-related commitments, the lifting of sanctions, including the economic dividends arising from it, constitutes an essential part of the JCPOA," Mogherini told reporters after the meeting.
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said he would convey "deeper explanation" observed at the Vienna meeting to Tehran.
"We prefer to continue to stay in the nuclear deal," he told reporters. "But the final decision will be made in Tehran." Still, he called the meeting "one step forward."
"The concerns, which we had last night and which were also expressed by President Hasan Rouhani, were addressed in the meeting and more details were disclosed, and they make us more optimistic than we were yesterday," he said.