Wednesday, 18 July, 2018

European Union moves to safeguard interests in Iran after threat of U.S. sanctions

Iran Deal,JCPOA,Trump Era Iran FM Meets Mogherini as Part of Efforts to Save Nuclear Deal
| 16 May, 2018, 15:10

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has met with European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini as the Europeans seek to keep the Iran nuclear agreement.

"We're not there, we're beginning the process", Mohammad Javad Zarif told reporters after meeting his French, British and German counterparts in Brussels.

Part of the flaw with the Iran deal that President Trump rejected was it enticed Europe and the United States into economic relations with Iran that would work against holding the country accountable for violations of the agreement, Bolton said.

He also asserted that the future of the nuclear agreement of July 14, 2015, hinges on the assurance to be given to Iran by the remaining 5 signatory states of the original sextet. "I think that will sink in; we'll see what happens then", Bolton said.

According to Zarif, the objective of his trip is to get guarantees from the other participants of the nuclear deal that the interests of Iran will be protected.

The United States has threatened to impose sanctions on European companies that do business with Iran, as the remaining participants in the Iran nuclear accord stiffened their resolve to keep that agreement operational.

European Union and Iran agreed to hold intense expert consultations in coming days with an aim to boost economic, trade and investment cooperation, the European Union foreign policy chief added.

Perry Cammack, of the Carnegie Middle East foundation, said "The primary target of USA secondary sanctions is not Iran itself but foreign financial institutions that trade with it".

All sides were aware that urgent solutions are needed, the EU's top diplomat added, "not for the sake of a calendar but because if you want to save this deal.we know that the sooner we manage to do it, the better".

But European diplomats have sought to play down expectations of Tuesday's meetings, stressing the enormous challenge of finding a way around U.S. sanctions punishing foreign businesses trading with Iran, which have global reach.


Zarif was returning from a diplomatic tour of the remaining parties to the 2015 nuclear agreement - Britain, France, Germany, China and Russian Federation - following the U.S. decision last week to pull out.

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 an end to punishing global sanctions.

White House national security adviser John Bolton said Sunday that "it's possible" there will be secondary sanctions imposed on European companies as a result of the USA withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal.

Germany, the United Kingdom, and France have significant trade links with Iran and remain committed to the nuclear agreement. Following Trump's decision, the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control sanctioned nine Iranian individuals and entities including those with links to Iran's Revolutionary Guard.

She and other European power will meet again in Vienna next week.

The EU's energy commissioner is also traveling this week to Iran to discuss strengthening European energy support to Iran.

Washington has long complained that the nuclear deal does nothing to stop Iran's ballistic missile programme or its interference in conflicts across the Middle East from Syria to Yemen.

However, on Tuesday the USA hit Iran's central bank governor with sanctions.

German exports to Iran totalled almost €3bn (£2.6bn) in 2017, while French exports soared from €562m in 2015 to €1.5bn in 2017.

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