Mohammad Javad Zarif met EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini ahead of evening talks with his counterparts from Britain, France and Germany -- the three European signatories to the 2015 landmark deal who are scrambling to preserve it.
Tehran has warned it is preparing to resume "industrial-scale" uranium enrichment "without any restrictions" unless Europe can provide solid guarantees that it can maintain the economic benefits it gained from the nuclear agreement despite the United States reimposing sanctions.
Zarif gave an upbeat assessment after a "good and constructive" meeting with Mogherini.
"I believe we're on the right track to move forward in order to ensure that interests of all the JCPOA remaining participants, particularly Iran, will be preserved and guaranteed," he told reporters. The deal's official name is the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA.
But European diplomats have sought to play down expectations of Tuesday's meeting, stressing the enormous challenge of finding a way around US sanctions punishing foreign businesses trading with Iran, which have global reach.
The European Union insists the deal is working, pointing to repeated UN inspections verifying the Islamic republic's compliance with its side of the bargain, and Mogherini's spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic told AFP ahead of Zarif's arrival that "we must do our utmost to preserve it".
European firms, especially those from France and Germany, rushed to invest in Iran following the 2015 accord, under which Tehran agreed to freeze its nuclear programme in return for the repeal of punishing international sanctions.
German exports to Iran totalled nearly 3.0 billion euros in 2017, while French exports soared from 562 million euros in 2015 to 1.5 billion in 2017 and oil giant
Total has pledged to invest some $5 billion in the South Pars gas field.
French President Emmanuel Macron held phone talks with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Tuesday, according to a Kremlin statement, which said they had "confirmed Russia and France's commitment to make the deal work".
"The final aim of these negotiations is to seek assurances that the interests of the Iranian nation will be defended," Zarif said at the start of a meeting.
On Monday Zarif also sent a letter to the United Nations in which he accused the US of showing a "complete disregard for international law" in pulling out of the deal.
On Sunday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington still wants to work with Europe to counter Iran's "malign behaviour" and was working hard to thrash out a more wide-ranging deal with its European partners.
"Our meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif in Brussels is a chance to discuss how we can continue to support sanctions relief with Iran while they maintain their nuclear agreement obligations, but also raise our worries about Iran's wider, disruptive behaviour in the Middle East region," Johnson said.
But while Pompeo has talked up the prospect of renewed coordination with America's allies, another top aide reminded Europe its companies could face sanctions if they continue to do business with the Middle Eastern power.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)