Ministers meet French businesses affected by US decision on Iran nuclear deal

Iran – Reply by M. Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, Minister of State attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, to a question to the government in the National Assembly

Paris, 16 May 2018

The United States’ withdrawal from the nuclear agreement has, first of all, consequences on regional stability and on the integrity of the non-proliferation regime, but also, potentially, major consequences for a number of French and European businesses. The decision is a mistake, and it’s clear we don’t want French and European businesses to pay the price for it. French interests in the automotive, aerospace and agrifood sectors are real.

Yesterday, Jean-Yves Le Drian, Bruno Le Maire and I brought together these businesses, which we’re in constant dialogue with, in order to manage the situation. What’s particularly in question is the American sanctions’ extraterritorial dimension, which is especially intolerable because they implement a decision which we don’t share and which we regret.

France’s action with Europe will focus on several points: firstly, ensuring that we modernize the blocking statute, which dates back to 1996 and is a European tool. Secondly, also working on funding channels that are watertight, and thirdly, perhaps also establishing institutions like the OFAC [Office of Foreign Assets Control], which, in the United States, gives licences for products that are entirely European.

We too must create genuine economic sovereignty. This is a moment of truth for the European Union, let’s be very clear, and this evening it will be on the agenda at the dinner of heads of state and government. I think we must prove Kundera wrong when he said: “what is a European? It’s someone who is nostalgic for Europe.” We have faith in Europe, and today it’s time for Europe to clearly assert its sovereignty./.

Iran – Meeting with the French businesses affected by the American withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA) – Statements by M. Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, during his joint press conference with M. Bruno Le Maire, Minister of the Economy and Finance

Paris, 15 May 2018

Ladies and gentlemen,

Bruno Le Maire and I wanted to meet businesses directly or indirectly affected by the potential consequences of the United States’ decision to withdraw from the Vienna agreement.

I’d like to begin by saying that France regrets the decision, and reiterating that the Vienna agreements are being maintained and that the other signatories do intend to keep the agreement going. Because it’s an agreement providing security, an agreement for our own security, because it prevents nuclear proliferation in a region which is already particularly destabilized.

We wanted to talk to businesses about the consequences. We told them about our determination to fight to ensure that the decisions taken by the United States don’t have any repercussions on French businesses, in particular, which have invested in Iran. We told them that as far as France is concerned – this is the President’s position – decisions to restore US extraterritorial sanctions are unacceptable to us and there’s a challenge here that we must take up again, particularly at European level. We’ve decided to begin an ongoing, in-depth dialogue with French businesses to gauge on a daily basis the consequences and initiatives to be taken.

At any rate, Bruno Le Maire and I are determined to assert our own sovereignty and our own decision-making capacity in this situation. We sensed the same determination from businesses./.

Published on 17/05/2018

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