With few options, Iran and Europe try to save nuclear deal

16 May, 2018, 15:08 | Author: Charlene Valdez
  • Iran, Gaza, Trump's steel and aluminium tariffs on the menu at EU leaders' dinner in Sofia

The legitimate interests of each participant in the Iran nuclear deal are enshrined in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and the parties need to cooperate in defending them, he said.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and his counterparts from Britain, France and Germany - the three European signatories to pact - in Brussels on the last leg of a whirlwind diplomatic tour that also took in Russian Federation and China, the two other signatory nations.

Pompeo added he was "hopeful in the days and weeks ahead we can come up with a deal that really works, that really protects the world from Iranian bad behavior, not just their nuclear program, but their missiles and their malign behavior as well". "We are talking about solutions to keep the deal alive", she said, adding that measures would seek to allow Iran to keep exporting oil and for European banks to operate with the country.

Iran's ambassador to New Zealand Jalaladdin Namini Mianji told Morning Report New Zealand companies would risk losing trade deals if the country adhered to US President Donald Trump's threat of imposing sanctions.

"The consequences of American sanctions go well beyond goods shipped by American companies, " Bolton said.

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

Bolton, one of the key architects of the George W. Bush administration's decision to invade Iraq in 2003, despite lacking evidence that Iraq's Saddam Hussein had a programme to develop weapons of mass destruction, stuck to his famously more hawkish tone with comments that hinted that trump's White House would consider any European company that continues to honour legally binding business contracts with Iran as hostile acts.

Mogherini will host a consultation of German, French, and British foreign ministers on May 15 to discuss the future of the Iran accord and the US' latest threat.

European Union diplomats said they needed some time to understand the USA position. "And if it continued, it would have given Iran extraordinary economic benefits without any guarantees of Iranian performance".

On May 8, President Donald Trump violated the terms of the JCPOA by withdrawing from the accord.

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So far, China, France, Russia, Britain, Germany and Iran remain in the accord, which placed controls on Iran's nuclear program and led to a relaxation of economic sanctions against Iran and companies doing business there.

He said the negative global reaction to Washington's withdrawal from the nuclear agreement - and the new sanctions it announced Tuesday on Iran's central bank - reflected USA isolation on the Iran issue.

In a pre-emptive strike on Tuesday, the USA treasury imposed new sanctions on the governor of the Iranian central bank, Valiollah Seif, and the Iraq-based Al-Bilad Islamic Bank - in both cases for allegedly moving millions of dollars to Hezbollah on behalf of Iran's Revolutionary Guards.

Possible measures include reviving an EU-wide blocking regulation from 1996, which was meant to prevent U.S. sanctions from affecting European firms trading with Cuba, Libya and Iran.

On whether the United States was willing to impose sanctions on European countries that work with Iran, Bolton stated: "It's possible".

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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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