Europe, Iran diplomats plan to save nuclear deal

Lester Mason
May 16, 2018

On Thursday France's top diplomat Jean-Yves Le Drian slammed those conditions, saying Washington needed to negotiate with its European allies on any sanctions that might affect their companies.

Germany acknowledged it could be hard to protect companies doing business with Iran as a senior US official renewed a threat of sanctions against European firms following Washington's decision to pull out of a nuclear deal with Tehran. In a statement Tuesday, Boris Johnson said the United Kingdom remains "fully committed to upholding" the deal, and is working with France and Germany to "explore the best way forward". "We will all save it together".

Zarif gave an upbeat assessment after a "good and constructive" meeting with Mogherini.

"A lot of companies in the aeronautical, pharmaceutical, energy and vehicle sectors have invested in a significant way in Iran and some have concluded contracts in good faith which must be respected", Le Maire told reporters following the meeting.

"We are on the right path to move forward".

Ultimately, it is up to Iran to decide whether to accept the agreement with limited benefits or imitate USA and depart. The other parties to the agreement-Britain, France, Germany, China, and Russia-will continue to nurse it along and prevent its complete collapse.

For the time being there appear to be no immediate changes to the current sanctions position for non-US persons and U.S. authorities will allow foreign persons to wind down their Iran related activities.

They include retaliatory sanctions, allowing the European Investment Bank to invest directly in Iran and coordinating euro-denominated credit lines from European governments. In the past, the European Union has also lodged complaints at the World Trade Organization.

He also added United States would be working with its allies to find a "real, comprehensive" solution to restrain Iran and its nuclear ambitions.

Britain continues to believe that the Iran nuclear deal "has value" despite the U.S. walking away from it, Boris Johnson said as he arrived in Brussels for talks with his French and German counterparts.

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.

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.

"I think that it was a mistake to rip up the agreement, and we should've built on the agreement rather than stepping backwards", Paul said.

"The PM said the United Kingdom would continue to work with the U.S. to keep up the pressure on North Korea to denuclearise".

Supporters of the deal say that Iran has complied with its requirements, and insist it is the only realistic alternative to military force as a means of halting Tehran's nuclear program.

Describing the deal as "hard-earned", Mr Yi added: "I hope and believe that these visits to multiple countries will help protect Iran's legitimate national interests and peace and stability in the region". "They have many assertive messages to Iran and its supporters, and even to the U.S.'s European allies, [clarifying that] the US will in no way agree to ambiguous positions and will act forcefully to prevent the Iranian regime from taking advantage of this agreement in order to realize its dream of obtaining nuclear weapons that will threaten the region and the entire world ..."

But European diplomats were despondent.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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