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Iran, World Powers Meeting In Vienna To Discuss Nuclear Deal

Swiss President Alain Berset (top right) and Iranian President Hassan Rohani (top left) look on as Johann Schneider-Ammann, head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research (right) and Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif sign documents in Bern on July 3.

The foreign ministers of Iran and the five world powers still party to the 2015 nuclear deal will meet in Vienna on July 6 to discuss ways to preserve the agreement in the wake of the Unites States’ withdrawal, Iranian media report.

The top diplomats from Britain, China, France, Germany, and Russia will join Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in the Austrian capital to discuss a “proposed European package and measures to protect the agreement," state-run IRNA news agency said on July 3.

The announcement comes as President Hassan Rohani, accompanied by Zarif, is visiting Switzerland before heading to neighboring Austria.

Before leaving Tehran for his European tour, Rohani said on July 2 that he expects European nations to unveil “in the coming days” a package of measures aimed at preserving the accord, according to the state-run Mehr news agency.

The Iranian delegation was scheduled to stay in Bern until July 3 before traveling to Vienna, which is home to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN body that monitors Iran's compliance with the Iran nuclear deal.

President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the accord in May and moved to reinstate economic sanctions against Tehran. U.S. officials also warned that other nations would face sanctions unless they stopped doing business with Iran.

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

After holding talks with Swiss authorities in Bern, Rohani reiterated on July 3 that Tehran will continue to honor the agreement as long as its interests are preserved.

He also called a U.S. plan to cut Iran's oil production to zero a "fantasy.”

In a televised speech last week, Rohani sought to prepare the Iranian people for tougher times ahead, saying, “We have to show the world that we will tolerate tough times. We will tolerate difficulties, but we will not trade in our independence, our freedom, or our faith.”

Rohani's trip to Switzerland and Austria followed recent demonstrations in Tehran over the country's troubled economy.

With reporting by Reuters and AFP