Friday, 13 December, 2019


European Union and Iran to keep nuclear deal in place

European Union and Iran to keep nuclear deal in place European Union and Iran to keep nuclear deal in place
Bennie Garza | 18 May, 2018, 14:03

At the highly anticipated EU-Western Balkans Summit in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia, European leaders agreed to stick to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal that US President Donald J. Trump unilaterally pulled out of earlier this month and back the European Commission's call to defend the bloc's business interests with Iran and to speak as a single voice against threats by the White House that it would slap additional tariffs on steel and aluminium imports.

Speaking to reporters before an European Union summit in Bulgaria, he accused Washington of "capricious assertiveness" in abandoning the Iran nuclear deal and imposing tariffs on steel and aluminium imports.

"The EU is even ready to talk about trade liberalization with our American friends but only if the USA decides an unlimited exemption from steel and aluminum tariffs", said EU Council President Donald Tusk after chairing the summit.

Trump's pullout of the Iran deal adds more momentum to the mounting anti-American sentiment that has been building up in Europe for years, amid the growing appeal for a European-modeled globalist alternative to the U.S.' nationalism, that is doing serious damage to the transatlantic relationship between both sides.

France, Macron said, backed proposals by the European Commission to protect and compensate European companies that might be hit by USA sanctions for trading with Iran.

"But frankly speaking, Europe should be grateful to President Trump".

They also agreed to "initiate work to protect European companies negatively affected by the U.S. decision", which involves Washington reimposing sanctions on Iran.

The EU will continue to support the Iran deal "as long as Iran respects the deal" but will address USA concerns over Iran's role in the Middle East crisis and its ballistic missile programme.

French President Emmanuel Macron said Thursday that one reason for the efforts to prop up the Iran deal is "so that our businesses can remain" in Iran. The contrast has stirred up even more European anger toward Trump's foreign policy, and the Gaza violence is another mark on the agenda for European leaders to discuss during their day and a half of meetings that starts Wednesday.

"With the sanctions the Americans are to impose, you can't do business in Iran if you also have business in the USA, and we have that on a large scale", Skou told Reuters in an interview following the firm's first-quarter report. Yet it is his brusque move on the Iranian nuclear deal and subsequent escalation of tension in the Middle-East region have washed off whatever gains he achieved on North Korea; it dampened the mood of his supporters who were sure Trump would be able to establish America as the world leader. "We're not going to take counter-sanctions against USA companies, it wouldn't make sense".

Europe exemplifies the use of multilateral worldwide negotiations, to settle everything from global trade rules to the threat of Iran developing nuclear weapons.

"We will begin the "blocking statute" process, which aims to neutralise the extraterritorial effects of United States sanctions in the EU".

The EU, which along with Germany, France, Britain, Russia, China and the United States signed the nuclear accord with Iran, does have some steps it can take to shield European business in Iran. Why should China and European nations follow the rules laid down by the United States and reinstate sanctions on Iran?

German Chancellor Angela Merkel addresses the media at an European Union and Western Balkan heads of state summit at the National Palace of Culture, in Sofia, Bulgaria, Thursday, May 17, 2018.

Trump's withdrawal does not only jeopardize the European companies' interests, but also threatens Europe's existence as a balancing and influential political power in the larger political landscape dominated by the U.S.

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