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Iran: Nuclear pact is in 'intensive care unit'

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Iran's President Rouhani would like to revive the deal if it benefits Iran
Iran's President Rouhani would like to revive the deal if it benefits Iran   -   Copyright  Alexander Zemlianichenko/Pool via REUTERS
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The remaining signatories of the multinational nuclear deal with Iran, known as the "JCPOA", have met for the first time in a bid to save the landmark pact following the US decision to unilaterally withdraw and reimpose sanctions on Tehran.

At Iran's request, delegates from China, Russia, France, Britain, Germany and the European Union gathered on Friday in Austria's capital, Vienna, where they reaffirmed their commitment to the 2015 deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Abbas Araghchi, Iran's deputy foreign minister, told reporters in Vienna that Tehran was negotiating with the other signatories "to see if they can provide us with a package which can give Iran the benefits of sanctions lifting".

"The next step is to find guarantees for that package," he said, adding that Iran needed specifics on how that would happen by the end of May.

The Iranian government is skeptical about the prospect of a deal that is sufficiently in Iran's interest.

"I told the conference today that the JCPOA is in the intensive care unit because it has lost its balance as a result of US withrawal from the deal," Mr Araghchi said.