August 3, 2018 / 7:13 AM / 11 days ago

Iran's foreign minister says China 'pivotal' to salvaging its nuclear deal

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Iran’s foreign minister said on Friday China was “pivotal” to salvaging a multilateral nuclear agreement for the Middle Eastern country after the United States pulled out of the pact earlier this year.

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif smiles as he attends a bilateral meeting with China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi on the sidelines of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Singapore, August 3, 2018. REUTERS/Feline Lim

U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of the 2015 deal in May. International sanctions were lifted under the pact between world powers and Tehran in return for curbs on Iran’s nuclear program.

Trump has ordered U.S. sanctions on Tehran, while a senior State Department official said Washington has told allies to cut imports of Iranian oil by November. Iran and other signatories, including China, have been trying to salvage the deal.

“The role of China in the implementation of JCPOA, in achieving JCPOA, and now in sustaining JCPOA, will be pivotal,” Mohammad Javad Zarif said, referring to the technical name for the nuclear deal.

Reporting by Christian Shepherd; Writing by John Geddie; Editing by Paul Tait

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