EU Reiterates Its Strong Support for Doing Business with Iran

Helga Schmid

A senior European Union official has once again declared the EU’s strong support for the Iran nuclear deal and economic cooperation with Tehran.

Helga Schmid, the secretary-general of the EU’s foreign policy service, says “the EU fully supports the JCPOA and expects continued implementation by all parties.”

“At the European Union, we support economic cooperation between Iran and Europe — at the political level and at the policy level,” she added in a Wednesday address to the Europe-Iran Forum gathering in the Swiss financial capital of Zurich.

After the international nuclear accord in 2015, European and Iranian businesses have worked to expand previously prohibited trade and investment, but tens of billions of euros in deals are being slowed down because of political uncertainty and financial issues.

US President Donald Trump is threatening to decertify the pact ahead of a congressionally mandated October 15 deadline to report on Iran’s compliance. That would give Congress 60 days to snap back sanctions that were lifted as part of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the accord signed in 2015 by Iran and six world powers.

If Trump decertifies the deal, there is no guarantee that lawmakers would impose new sanctions or even take action. Defense Secretary James Mattis, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson are all reportedly in favor of the US’s maintaining its commitment.

The deal had created expectations that trade between Iran and the European Union would flourish again after international nuclear sanctions cut the country off from financial markets, DW reported.

Even after the pact came into effect, however, EU bankers and firms continue to face steep hurdles when investing in Iran. For one, US-imposed restrictions make it complicated for EU companies to finance and clear transactions with the country.

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