Europe

Euro, China, Russia discuss new Iran deal

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani is under pressure to scuttle the nuclear deal with Europe. (AAP)

The EU's energy chief is trying to reassure Iran that the 28-member bloc remains committed to salvaging the nuclear deal, and strengthening trade with Tehran.

Diplomats from Europe, China and Russia are discussing a new accord to offer Iran financial aid to curb its ballistic missile development and meddling in the region, in the hope of salvaging its 2015 nuclear deal, a German newspaper is reporting.

The officials will meet in Vienna in the coming week under the leadership of senior European Union diplomat Helga Schmid to discuss next steps after the May 8 decision by US President Donald Trump to pull out of a 2015 nuclear accord with Iran, the Welt am Sonntag newspaper said, citing senior EU sources.

Germany, France, Britain, Russia and China would participate in the meeting, but the United States would not, it said. It was not immediately clear if Iran - which has resisted calls to curb its ballistic missile program in the past - would take part.

Under the 2015 deal, Iran agreed to curb its nuclear program in return for the lifting of most Western sanctions. One of the main complaints of the Trump administration was that the accord did not cover Iran's missile program or its support for armed groups in the Middle East which the West considers terrorists.

Concluding a new agreement that would maintain the nuclear provisions and curb ballistic missile development efforts and Tehran's activities in the region could help convince Trump to lift sanctions against Iran, the paper said.

"We have to get away from the name 'Vienna nuclear agreement' and add in a few additional elements. Only that will convince President Trump to agree and lift sanctions again," the paper quoted a senior EU diplomat as saying.

No immediate comment was available from the German foreign ministry.

The EU's energy chief sought to reassure Iran on Saturday that the 28-member bloc remained committed to salvaging the nuclear deal, and strengthening trade with Tehran.

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