Monday, 12 November, 2018

Luxembourg Throws Its Weight behind Iran Nuclear Deal: FM

Europe vows to keep Iran nuclear deal alive but offers no guarantees Luxembourg Throws Its Weight behind Iran Nuclear Deal: FM
Gerardo Duncan | 16 May, 2018, 15:12

Speaking on "Fox News Sunday, " Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said withdrawing from the 2015 accord wasn't aimed at Europeans, but he didn't rule out the U.S. imposing sanctions on entities that continue to do business with Iran, even as efforts continue to strike a new deal.

After a meeting of the foreign ministers of Iran, Britain, France and Germany, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said the group will come forward with measures in the next few weeks after tasking experts to protect European business in Iran.

Europe and Iran have sought a united front to save the nuclear deal that US President Donald Trump abandoned last week.

Speaking after a bilateral meeting with EU's Federica Mogherini on Tuesday, Zarif said he had good and constructive talks with her.

Analysts have suggested Russian Federation could benefit economically from the USA pull-out, as it is less exposed to the consequences of renewed sanctions than Europe.

The EU has said it will stick to the deal as long as Iran does, but the Islamic republic has warned it is ready to resume "industrial-scale" uranium enrichment if it is not satisfied.

"We do not discuss any additions to the contract", - said Mogherini. Energy and finance will follow on 4 November.

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.

She didn't specify which measures could be put in place to bypass United States sanctions, and protect European companies from potential punitive actions, repeating on several occasions that the technical details will be presented in a matter of weeks.

On Wednesday, the European Commission will meanwhile discuss the EU's 1990s-era blocking sanctions, Mogherini said. "There will be a complicated and comprehensive pattern of options both at the European Union and at the national level and therefore it may take some time to establish all of them".

"It would not stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons".

But European businesses and Iranian moderates need relatively swift assurances that trade will be protected. "But as it is now, at least for the time being, we're the country that's isolated". He predicted that "many countries, perhaps most, will reluctantly adhere to Trump's demands".

"We have to be realistic about the electrified rail, the live wire of American extraterritoriality and how [it] can serve as a deterrent to business", Johnson told reporters in Brussels.

"We will have to see whether [those] remaining in the JCPOA can deliver those benefits to Iran", Javad Zarif stated Tuesday.

Even former President Obama, who typically doesn't weigh in on current events, issued a statement saying he believes the USA decision to pull out of the Iran agreement is "a serious mistake".

Iran has said it is preparing to resume "industrial-scale" uranium enrichment "without any restrictions" unless Europe can provide solid guarantees that it can maintain trade ties despite renewed U.S. sanctions.

German exports to Iran totaled almost 3 billion euros ($2.3 billion) in 2017, while French exports soared from 562 million euros ($670 million) in 2015 to 1.5 billion ($1.8 billion) in 2017 and oil giant Total has pledged to invest some $5 billion in the South Pars gas field.

Another French firm that has a lot to lose in Iran is Total.

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