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Europeans, Russia And China To Meet Over Iran Nuclear Deal

File photo - From left, European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

The remaining signatories to the landmark 2015 Iran nuclear deal plan to meet next week in an effort to save the accord, the European Union says.

In a statement on June 20, the EU said senior officials from Iran, France, Germany, Britain, China, and Russia will meet on June 28 in Vienna to discuss the deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The officials will look at ways to "tackle challenges arising from the withdrawal and reimposition of sanctions by the United States on Iran," the EU said.

"The meeting has been called with the intention of ensuring the continued implementation of the JCPOA in all its aspects and discuss ways to tackle challenges arising from the withdrawal and re-imposition of sanctions by the United States on Iran, as well as recent announcements by Iran regarding the implementation of its nuclear commitments," the EU said.

Crippling U.S. sanctions have chocked off Iran's oil exports vital for the country's finances. Europe has promised to launch a mechanism for limited trade but so far the barter system is not operational.

Iran last month said it would reduce compliance with the terms of the deal in protest against the U.S. withdrawal.

The EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini -- who helped seal the deal with Iran -- said on June 20 that it was "important for us to keep Iran fully compliant with its commitments."

She also said she would strive to ease tensions between Tehran and Washington "to make sure that an escalation is avoided" amid the latest flareup of accusations between the two.

The downing of a U.S. surveillance drone on June 20 has heightened existing tensions in the Persian Gulf, worrying regional countries and world powers.

With reporting by Reuters and AFP