EU Describes First Meeting with Iranian FM as Useful

Lester Mason
May 16, 2018

Then he left Moscow for Brussels where he is slated to meet with the foreign ministers of UK, Germany, and France as well as the EU High Representative Mogherini.

Trump also warned his European allies he would impose stiff sanctions on EU companies who either do business in Iran or who opt to honour legally binding business contracts with Iranian companies.

The foreign minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Javad Zarif has arrived in Brussels ahead of a meeting with his British, French and German counterparts.

"Our meeting with Mrs Mogherini was good and constructive". Germany and Iran agreed on a long-term deal regarding Tehran's nuclear programme.

European diplomats have sought to play down expectations of yesterday's meeting.

She added: "Britain, France and Germany were of the opinion that the agreement against Iran's nuclear armament is an agreement that certainly has weaknesses, but an agreement we should stand by".

They include retaliatory sanctions, allowing the European Investment Bank to invest directly in Iran and coordinating euro-denominated credit lines from European governments.

On Sunday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington still wants to work with Europe to counter Iran's "malign behavior" and was working hard to thrash out a more wide-ranging deal with its European partners. "We will try to uphold our side of the bargain".


The European Commission has been examining measures to counter the introduction of any USA sanctions that might harm European businesses and is expected to unveil them to EU leaders at a summit in Sofia, Bulgaria, on Wednesday.

Among them is the possible use of an EU "blocking regulation" which would, in essence, ban European companies from respecting American sanctions where those sanctions might damage EU interests, notably trade and the movement of capital.

"Let's not fool ourselves that there are dozens of things we can do", said a second senior European diplomat.

Not only has Trump's walkout of the deal imperiled its future, the threat of sanctions could also trickle down to European companies doing business with Iran and further hurt trans-Atlantic ties.

The accord lifted worldwide sanctions on Iran in 2016 in return for Tehran shutting down its capacity, under strict surveillance by the United Nations nuclear watchdog, to stockpile enriched uranium for a possible atomic bomb.

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

The EU insists the deal is working, pointing to repeated United Nations inspections verifying Iran'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". "We don't have much to threaten the Americans".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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