Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

European Union and Iran to keep nuclear deal in place

European Union and Iran to keep nuclear deal in place

"Total has always been clear that it can not afford to be exposed to any secondary sanction, which might include the loss of financing in dollars by USA banks for its worldwide operations, the loss of its United States shareholders or the inability to continue its U.S. operations", they said.

Meanwhile, the United States treasury has already imposed new sanctions on the governor of the Iranian central bank, Valiollah Seif, and the Iraq-based Al-Bilad Islamic Bank -for allegedly moving millions of dollars to Hezbollah on behalf of Iran's Revolutionary Guards.

Iran has said it may start enriching uranium again if it can no longer see any economic benefit from sticking to the deal, which lifted earlier worldwide sanctions on the Islamic Republic in exchange for it curbing its nuclear ambitions.

European Union leaders agreed to work with Iran to try to salvage the deal, but no immediate decisions were made.

An EU source said after the talks the leaders agreed to start "work to protect European companies negatively affected by the USA decision". So far, there was no evidence, after 11 reports, that Iran was not complying with the deal.

"International companies with interests in many countries make their own choices according to their own interests", he said.

Tusk's unusually biting criticism of Trump on Wednesday highlighted the deep trans-Atlantic split: "Looking at the latest decisions of President Trump, someone could even think: With friends like that, who needs enemies?". Tusk told a news conference.

European Union and Iranian diplomats repeated their commitment to "continued, full and effective implementation" of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which was endorsed by the UN Security Council and represents a key element of global nuclear nonproliferation and a "significant diplomatic achievement", European Union high representative for foreign policy Federica Mogherini said on Tuesday.

Major European countries share Trump's concerns, and the EU leaders on Wednesday agreed to seek ways to address them.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel insisted the pact also helped with concerns about Tehran's role in Middle East conflicts. The meeting is due on May 25.

Juncker, for his part, reiterated the EU's resolve to keep the Iran deal alive "because of primary importance for maintaining peace in the region, and also for peace in the whole world". "Tonight, the main goal is to save the Iran deal and to preserve all its provisions".

"Trump played his first card, but miscalculated the second move", Rouhani was quoted as saying by the ISNA agency.

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