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Remaining parties in Iran nuclear deal to meet in Vienna

Feb. 24 (UPI) -- The European Union announced Monday that the six countries remaining in the Obama-era Iran nuclear deal will meet in Vienna on Wednesday.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which was recreated to monitor Iran's nuclear program and prevent it from developing nuclear weapons, has been crumbling since the Trump administration pulled the United States out of the deal in 2018.

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Iran and remaining countries -- Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia -- have expressed an interest in saving the deal, but Iran has moved away from some parts of its limitations since the United States imposed new sanctions against the country.

The European Union statement said the meeting was called on behalf of High Representative Josep Borrell Fontelles by Helga Maria Schmid, secretary-general of the European External Action Service.

The deal reached another critical point last month when a U.S. drone strike killed Gen. Qassem Soleimani, a commander of Iran's elite Quds Force, in Iraq after the U.S. Embassy there was attacked. Iran responded by bombing a military facility in Iraq that housed U.S. service members.

While no U.S. troops were killed during the Iranian missile strike, the Defense Department later acknowledged 11 U.S. service members were treated for concussion symptoms.

Trump went on to call for the remaining countries to abandon the deal. Britain, France and Germany instead issued a joint statement saying they committed to continuing the JCPOA.

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