White House Open to Sanctioning European Companies That Do Business With Iran

White House Open to Sanctioning European Companies That Do Business With Iran

On May 8, US President Donald Trump announced Washington's decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal as it, he said, leaves Tehran a possibility to create a nuclear bomb bypassing all the restrictions.

JCPOA was implemented in 2016 after five permanent members of UN Security Council, China, France, Russia, United Kingdom and U.S. plus Germany reached an agreement with Rouhani's government to lift global sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic in exchange for Tehran to curb its nuclear program.

Meanwhile, European diplomats in Tehran fumed that Trump's decision to withdraw from the nuclear deal could undermine years of patient work to restore commercial and diplomatic ties with the Islamic Republic.

"Iran's interests in important areas and issues relevant to the JCPOA, like oil, gas, and petrochemicals sales, as well as banking relations should be clearly and explicitly defined and guaranteed", Rouhani said.

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 program in return for the repeal of punishing worldwide sanctions.

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Lavrov also voiced support for Iran's right to defend its "legitimate interests" as part of the agreement, which removed nuclear sanctions against Iran in early 2016 in exchange for certain limits to its civilian nuclear activities.

"Our trade with New Zealand is the importing dairy products from NZ, if they want to impose sanctions then they must ban the companies from exporting the commodities to Iran".

Mr Zarif said on his first stop, China, that he hoped to secure a "clear future design" for the agreement.

The EU insists the deal is working, pointing to repeated United Nations inspections verifying the Islamic republic's compliance with its side of the bargain, and Mogherini's spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic told AFP ahead Zarif's arrival that "we must do our utmost to preserve it". If the U.S. punishes European companies for doing business with Iran, foreign companies will likely walk away from Iran.

Following Tuesday's evening talks in Brussels, all 28 European Union leaders are expected to discuss their next steps at a summit in Sofia on Wednesday, but no decisions are expected.

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"I would like to point out that Russian Federation and other participants in the deal - China and the European countries - also have their legitimate interests enshrined in this agreement", he added.

The deal's proponents say it is crucial to forestalling a nuclear Iran and preventing wider war in the Middle East.

Tehran has expressed its opposition to Trump's move.

Zarif's has since embarked on a whirlwind global tour, visiting both Russian Federation and China, the two other signatory nations, in a bid to bolster support.

"The Europeans, after the withdrawal of the USA from the deal, have found themselves forced to save the Joint Cooperative Plan of Action themselves", he added. "We don't have much to threaten the Americans".

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