EU countries "deeply regret" US Iran sanctions

Iran – United States’ sanctions against Iran and European reaction – Reply by Mme Nathalie Loiseau, Minister for European Affairs, to a question in the Senate (excerpts)

Paris, 8 November 2018


On 5 November, the United States reimposed all its sanctions against Iran. This is a second wave of renewed sanctions targeting the oil and financial sectors.

France deeply regrets the American decision, as we’ve said publicly with Germany, the United Kingdom and the High Representative of the European Union. Together we’ve reiterated our support for the continuation of the JCPOA and for the defence of our businesses trading legitimately with Iran.

To date, Iran has implemented its commitments under the agreement, as the International Atomic Energy Agency has again certified in its latest report. This is the precondition for the support of France and its partners and the reason why the Europeans, but also China and Russia, are committed to maintaining the agreement and the benefits Iran can derive from it.

As for the Europeans, this is the whole purpose of the work we’re doing to establish a common credit fund, the SPV – the special [purpose] vehicle – which you mentioned. In the short term, it aims to facilitate financial transactions for businesses that wish to continue trading with Iran, in accordance with European and international law. But in the longer term, and beyond the Iranian case itself, it’s about creating a tool of economic sovereignty for the European Union, because – you’re perfectly right – we can’t agree to our businesses falling victim to extraterritorial sanctions when they comply with our law. (…)

Iran – Re-imposition of American sanctions – Joint statement by High Representative Federica Mogherini and Foreign Ministers Jean-Yves Le Drian of France, Heiko Maas of Germany and Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt of the United Kingdom and Finance Ministers Bruno Le Maire of France, Olaf Scholz of Germany and Philip Hammond of the United Kingdom¹

Paris, 2 November 2018

We deeply regret the further re-imposition of sanctions by the US, due to the latter’s withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The JCPOA is a key element of the global nuclear non-proliferation architecture and of multilateral diplomacy, endorsed unanimously by the UN Security Council through Resolution 2231. It is crucial for the security of Europe, the region and the entire world.

The JCPOA is working and delivering on its goal. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has confirmed in twelve consecutive reports that Iran is abiding by its commitments under the Agreement.

We expect Iran to continue implementing all its nuclear commitments in full, as set out by the JCPOA. The JCPOA also provides for the lifting of international sanctions in order to have a positive impact on trade and economic relations with Iran, but most importantly on the lives of the Iranian people.

It is our aim to protect European economic operators engaged in legitimate business with Iran, in accordance with EU law and with UN Security Council resolution 2231.

As parties to the JCPOA, we have committed to work on, inter alia, the preservation and maintenance of effective financial channels with Iran, and the continuation of Iran’s export of oil and gas. On these, as on other topics, our work continues, including with Russia and China as participants to the JCPOA and with third countries interested in supporting the JCPOA. These efforts have been intensified in recent weeks, particularly those underpinning the European initiative to establish a Special Purpose Vehicle which we are proceeding with work to set up. This will enable continued sanctions lifting to reach Iran and allow for European exporters and importers to pursue legitimate trade.

Further work must be done to assist and reassure economic operators pursuing legitimate business under EU law. Our finance ministers will further pursue this at their next meeting. Our collective resolve to complete this work is unwavering.

We remain committed to implementing the JCPOA as a matter of respecting international agreements and of our shared international security, and expect Iran to play a constructive role in this regard.

¹Source of English text: UK government website.

Published on 08/01/2020

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