EU, France, others to keep economic ties with Iran

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With the U.S. set to re-impose sanctions against Iran from Monday, the European Union (EU) and Britain, France and Germany, said they would maintain economic ties with Tehran.

This is contained on joint statement issued on Monday by EU Foreign Policy chief, Federica Mogherini and the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany.

“They are determined to protect European economic operators engaged in legitimate business with Iran.”

The Iranian nuclear agreement is working and delivering on its goal, they stressed that the deal “is a key element of the global nuclear non-proliferation architecture, crucial for the security of Europe, the region and the entire world.”

“This is why the EU’s updated Blocking Statute enters into force on Aug. 7 to protect EU companies doing legitimate business with Iran from the impact of U.S. extra-territorial sanctions,” the officials said.

They said the remaining parties to the Iranian nuclear agreement, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) will maintain effective financial channels with Iran, and continue to buy Iran’s oil and gas.

“Preserving the nuclear deal with Iran is a matter of respecting international agreements and a matter of international security,” they said.

After its withdrawal from the JCPOA in May, Washington has been trying to bring sanctions back on Iran with the aim of blocking Iran’s international financial transactions and reducing its oil exports to zero.

Under the JCPOA, Iran agreed to limit its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions.

The first U.S. sanctions will snap back on Aug. 6.

They include sanctions on Iran’s automotive sector, trade in gold, and other key metals.

The remaining sanctions will return on Nov. 4, targeting Iran’s energy sector, petroleum-related transactions, and transactions with the Central Bank of Iran.

Since Trump pulled out of the nuclear deal, European countries have been scrambling to ensure that Iran gets enough economic benefits to persuade it to stay in the deal.

 

Xinhua/NAN