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EU foreign policy chief Mogherini: It is increasingly difficult to save 2015 nuclear deal

Participating countries will continue efforts to keep the Iran in the place, despite "increasing" difficulties, EU foreign policy chief said Wednesday.

"I will not hide that it is increasingly difficult to do it and we have discussed today that fact that we will try to continue keeping the agreement in the place and overcome the difficulties that we are facing," Federica Mogherini said after meeting with China, France, Germany, Russia, the U.K. and Iran on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.

Participants believe the deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), remains "a key element of the global nuclear non-proliferation architecture and a significant achievement of multilateral diplomacy," she said. "They underlined the importance of the full and effective implementation of the JCPOA by all sides and confirmed their determination to continue all efforts to preserve the agreement, which is in the interests of all."

The agreement is still in the place, said Mogherini, and she believes every step Iran has taken thus fa is reversible.

"We constantly called Iran to reverse these decisions and go back to full compliance," she said.

The agreement has two pillars: the nuclear commitments and the economic side that is linked to sanction-lifting, Mogherini said. "It's a security interest, for sure, for all of us. It's also an economic interest of Iran."

Tensions ratcheted up between the U.S. and Iran after two oil tankers were attacked in June in the Strait of Hormuz.

The U.S. held Iran responsible for the attacks and accused Tehran of destroying navigation devices in waters, both accusations denied by Iran.

The relationship between the two countries have grown more tense since 2018, when the U.S. unilaterally withdrew from a nuclear deal with Tehran, despite international opposition.

Iran insists that Europe must provide it additional economic support if they want to save the JCPOA, after the U.S. pull-out.

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