Iran says USA trying to derail nuclear deal with Europe

Iran says USA trying to derail nuclear deal with Europe

Kerry Wise
May 17, 2018

On Wednesday morning, the college of European Union commissioners will discuss the different options available. "The agreement against nuclear weapons in Iran is an agreement that certainly has weaknesses, but an agreement that we should stand for".

Meanwhile, EU imports from Iran increased by 83.9 percent past year.

Iran's main oil clients in Europe are Italy, France, Greece, Spain, Poland and Turkey.

"What is important is to safeguard the current contracts", a French presidency source said earlier this week.

While those nations have vowed to stand by the agreement, there is little likeliness that U.S. allies would side with Iran in this issue.

Options under consideration include measures described as "confidence-building and trust-enhancing" to reassure companies and Iran that business can continue. "We simply committed to fully comply with all the commitments taken there, which means for the Iranian side the nuclear-related commitments, and from our side and from the side of the rest of the worldwide community, in particular the commitments related to the economic benefits the Iranian people need to see as an outcome of their own implementation of the Iran deal".

The 28 leaders will also discuss the deaths of dozens of Palestinians in Gaza after Trump moved the United States embassy to Jerusalem, in another move that the Europeans had strongly opposed.

"We're not naive and know it will be hard for all sides", Mogherini said, adding: "We know it's a hard task but we are determined to do it and we have started to work to put in place measures that help ensure this happens".

At the same time, dozens of contracts signed between European businesses and the Islamic Republic could be at risk of cancellation if Brussels obeys Washington's sanctions.

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"We have a major problem", said Karine Berger, a former French MP, who was in 2016 the rapporteur of a French National Assembly report on United States extraterritoriality legislation.

The European airplane company Airbus, for instance, has a contract to provide some 100 aircraft to Iran Air, which is operating with an aging fleet of planes.

Johnson said the Europeans were "under no illusion about Iran's disruptive behaviour, but we think we can tackle those in other ways outside the JCPOA".

The impact of the reintroduction of sanctions is not going to be limited to Iran alone; it will also hurt the European countries who have already resumed lucrative business with the oil-rich country.

He suggested that a scheme of using the yuan, euro, yen and ruble for external trade through state-owned or specialized banks could spell the end of USA sanctions being a stick to beat other nations with.

"We have started working to reach the guarantees", he said, referring to Iran's demand that the remaining parties to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) should ensure Tehran's interests will be protected.

"We know it's a hard task but we are determined to do it and we have started to work to put in place measures that help ensure this happens", she told reporters. French diplomats said they also wanted to assess Iran's intentions in sticking to the deal, but also to see how open it was to serious talks on other Western concerns, including its ballistic missile programme and regional activities.

"Beyond the longer-term outlook, we want to demonstrate that we care about socioeconomic development in the region here and now".

Until now, she said, "many European Union leaders didn't see to what extent the issue would become so important".