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Iran's Rouhani Due In Switzerland, Austria Amid Nuclear-Deal Dispute

Iranian President Hassan Rohani (file photo)

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is traveling to Western Europe this week, amid continued uncertainty over the future of the 2015 nuclear agreement between Tehran and world powers.

Rouhani's trip to Switzerland and Austria, which took over the rotating European Union presidency on July 1, comes after U.S. President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the nuclear deal and moved to reinstate economic sanctions against Tehran.

The other parties to the agreement -- Britain, France, Russia, China, and Germany -- say they remain committed to the deal so long as Iran is honoring it.

Rouhani was scheduled to stay in Switzerland on July 2-3 and have talks with President Alain Berset and other officials, the Swiss government has said.

The sides will look at "ways of preserving the progress made as a result of the [Iran nuclear] agreement and of ensuring the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons in the region," a statement said.

It added that the discussions will also touch upon the situation in the Middle East.

On July 4, Rouhani is to meet with his Austrian counterpart, President Alexander Van der Bellen, and Chancellor Sebastian Kurz in Vienna.

Austria would "support EU efforts to save the nuclear agreement with Iran," a source in the presidential office in Vienna was quoted as saying.

The Iranian president will be accompanied by Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Rouhani's planned trip comes as demonstrators protesting against shortages of drinking water in southwestern Iran clashed with police for a second night. Demonstrations have been held recently in Tehran over the country's troubled economy.

With reporting by dpa