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Iran's FM says Europe must offset consequences of US sanctions

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif went into the talks at the headquarters of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's ruling party, as expectations grow of an offensive in Syria's Idlib province by Tehran's ally President Bashar al-Assad
ATTA KENARE (AFP/File)

Iran’s Foreign Minister on Saturday warned the US and European countries that it could “reduce its implementation” of the 2015 nuclear deal and increase uranium enrichment activities.

Such a move would be a possibility should the agreement be jeopardized by “the actions of the Americans and the passivity of the Europeans,” Zarif told Germany’s Der Spiegel news magazine.

“The Europeans and other signatories must act to offset the consequences of the U.S. sanctions,” Zarif said, while applauding a number of recent measures by Europe aimed at continuing trade with Iran.

On Friday, news weekly Der Spiegel and business daily Handelsblatt reported that Germany, France and Britain are mulling setting up a new financial institution to allow EU trade with Iran to continue despite American sanctions renewed by US President Donald Trump.

The three countries could set up a "Special Purpose Vehicle" (SPV) -- a firm resembling a clearing house that would cut Tehran out of the financial loop while still allowing trade.

For example, Iran could ship oil to a Spanish firm, accumulating credit that could be used to pay a German machine-tool manufacturer for goods going the other way -- without any money passing through Iranian hands.

“What is paramount: Europe should do so not for Iran, but for its own sovereign and long-term economic interests,” Zarif said.

Zarif also said exporting oil was a top priority for Iran, in addition to continuing to encourage investment in the Islamic Republic.

Nicholas Kamm, HO (AFP/File)

Washington wants all countries to halt oil imports from Iran before November 4 if they want to avoid US penalties.

“Europe said the nuclear agreement was in its security interest. Then Europe must be ready to pay for its security. Nothing is for free. The question is whether European wants its companies to follow European laws or American ones, or whether it will submit to the American dictates,” Zarif said.

Following US President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the 2015 nuclear deal, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo listed the twelve things Iran must to in order to strike a new deal with Washington, most notably changing its behavior in the region.

Zarif commented on entering additional negotiations with the US about Iran’s behavior in the region, saying Tehran would not “waste its time” that unless Washington revoked its decision to withdraw from the nuclear agreement.

“Only when Europe ensures that (the agreement) is implemented can Iran see if the attempt should be made to talk about other issues,” he said.

Iran in late August opened a lawsuit at the International Court of Justice, demanding the suspension of the renewed US financial penalties which it says are devastating its economy.

Comments

(4)

The EU should then give up on the US umbrella.

History shows that fascism of ANY persuasion must be destroyed. It never amends.

A "fake" smile with a hidden knife.

Iran is devastating other countries & people.

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